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Russian Foreign Ministry slams The Guardian’s Navalny story as anti-Russian propaganda

The article claims that the blogger had allegedly been poisoned by the Russian Federal Security Service to force him into exile
Russian Foreign Ministry  Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS
Russian Foreign Ministry
© Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, October 30. /TASS/. The Guardian’s October 16 article on Russian blogger Alexey Navalny fits into ongoing UK media campaign against Russia, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Friday.

"The Guardian’s article is yet another product of unending anti-Russian campaign by biased British media, who ditched professionalism and journalist ethics over political conjuncture," the statement reads.

The article in question claims that Navalny had allegedly been poisoned by the Russian Federal Security Service's (FSB) Second Service (FSB directorate, tasked with protection of constitutional order and fighting terrorism) using a poison named "novichok" in order "to send him an unambiguous warning and to force him into exile."

The Foreign Ministry noted that The Guardian cites two anonymous intelligence sources, while simultaneously admitting that the assertion of the FSB’s involvement is "hard to test."

The Ministry pointed out that the publication does not doubt the official position of the European Commission, who insists that the FSB’s involvement is the only possible explanation.

"Allegedly, if the agency watched [Navalny] and has access to the ‘novichok’ chemical, then, accordingly, it was the FSB who attempted to kill the blogger. The EU’s speculative and groundless argumentation has fit perfectly into the article. At the same time, The Guardian avoids mentioning that Russia destroyed all its stockpiles of chemical weapons and production equipment completely back in 2017, complying with its obligations on Chemical Weapons Convention," the Ministry said.

The Foreign Ministry also noted the speed and the alleged certainty, with which European laboratories discovered the "novichok" chemical in Navalny’s samples. This indicates that the NATO and the EU know this substance well, and that they have streamlined its production and research, the Ministry said.

"British journalists could become interested in this, but, in this case, they would need to go outside the constraints of the Western mainstream propaganda regarding our country," the Ministry concluded.

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.