ROME, September 10. /TASS/. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced that Russian President Vladimir Putin said during their conversation that Moscow planned to set up a commission to investigate the circumstances of the incident with Russian blogger Alexei Navalny.
"President Putin assured me that Russia plans to find out what happened announcing that he planned to establish a commission for the investigation and also expressed readiness to work with the German authorities," Conte said in an interview with Il Foglio newspaper published on Thursday.
The Italian prime minister also highlighted the importance of Russian-EU cooperation in investigating the incident with Navalny. According to him, this cooperation could prevent a negative fallout for relations between Russia and the European Union. "Cooperation is the best way to prevent negative consequences of this dramatic incident for relations between the EU and Russia," Conte said. Like all European partners, Italy believes that it is necessary to fully clarify the details of this incident and find those behind it.
Last time Putin and Conte held a phone conversation on August 26. Then the Kremlin said that the sides discussed the situation in Belarus and Libya and agreed to step up cooperation in combating the coronavirus. During the conversation, Putin stressed that any unfounded accusations over the situation with Navalny were unacceptable and stated that Russia was interested in an unbiased investigation into this case.
Navalny’s poisoning saga
Navalny was rushed to a local hospital in the Siberian city of Omsk on August 20 after becoming ill during his Tomsk-Moscow flight. 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. Last week, the German government claimed that having examined Navalny’s test samples the Bundeswehr’s toxicologists had come to the conclusion that the opposition figure had been affected by a toxic agent belonging to the Novichok family. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia remained ready for any comprehensive cooperation with Germany. He pointed out that no poisonous substances had been detected in Navalny’s system prior to his transfer to Berlin.
On September 7, doctors of the German clinic announced that Navalny had been removed from his medically induced coma and was being weaned off mechanical ventilation.