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Kremlin: Novichok statements by intel chief, Foreign Office spokeswoman not contradictory

Foreign Intelligence Service Head Sergei Naryshkin earlier said that Russia had destroyed all its chemical weapons stockpiles as opposed to Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova's statement that Russia never possessed the nerve agent
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov Mikhail Metzel/TASS
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov
© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

MOSCOW, September 25. /TASS/. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov called on journalists not to look for contradictions between statement of Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova and Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) Head Sergei Naryshkin regarding the presence and production of the Novichok nerve agent in Russia.

"Naryshkin said unambiguously that all stockpiles of chemical weapons had been destroyed, as certified by international observers; this was done in order to fulfill Russia’s obligation under the Chemical Weapons Convention. This is what Naryshkin was talking about. There is no contradiction here, no need for nitpicking," Peskov said, commenting on Zakharova’s remark that Russia never had the nerve agent stockpiled.

Meanwhile, he refrained from commenting on whether the Kremlin insists that Novichok agents had never been developed in Russia. "I cannot tell you that, because I do not have such information. In any case, it is only possible to confirm that Russia fulfilled all its obligations under the Convention and that all chemical weapons on Russian territory were destroyed," he said.

Navalny case

Navalny was rushed to a local hospital in the Siberian city of Omsk on August 20 after collapsing on a Moscow-bound flight from Tomsk. He fell into a coma and was put on a ventilator in an intensive care unit. On August 22, he was airlifted to Berlin and admitted to the Charite hospital.

On September 2, Berlin claimed that having examined Navalny’s test samples, German government toxicologists had come to the conclusion that the blogger had been affected by a toxic agent belonging to the Novichok family.

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia was ready for comprehensive cooperation with Germany. He pointed out that no poisonous substances had been detected in Navalny’s system prior to his transfer to Berlin. Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that the German Foreign Office had not provided the Russian ambassador with any proof of its version of the incident.