Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that his main opponent, Alexei Navalny, was not poisoned by his special services, because otherwise he would have died.
Navalny said his poisoning case was settled Monday after an investigation by the specialized portal Bellingcat In collaboration with Type inside, the German magazine The mirror and the American chain CNN will identify a team of secret agents from the Russian security service FSB, which haunted him for years, as their possible attackers.
Putin denied the allegations on Thursday, saying that Navalny was not important enough to be a target.
“The patient at the clinic in Berlin has the support of the American special services. And for this reason it should be followed by special services. But that doesn’t mean he had to be poisoned. “he said at the annual news conference. “Who needs it?”
“If he wanted that, then he’d be done.”Putin added with a laugh. “His wife approached me and I immediately gave the order to let him go to Germany for treatment.”
Putin declined to name his detractor, referring to him as the site of his hospitalization after his alleged poisoning.
He also said that the joint media investigation that identified the agents responsible for the Navalny poisoning he was a swindler to attack Russian leaders.
“It’s a trick: you attack senior officials, and in doing so, those who do this rise to a certain level and proclaim, ‘Attention, this is my partner. It means I’m a person of the same caliber. Treat me like a person on a national scale ‘. It’s a well-known trick in politics that is used all over the world. “, said.
According to research, based on the analysis of telephone data and online information leaks in RussiaFSB agents specialized in chemical weapons have been following the opponent since 2017.
They were present on August 20 at Tomsk, the Siberian city where the poisoning took place, according to this long investigation. However, the article does not establish any direct contact between those agents and the opponent, nor any evidence of a step of action or a given order.
Putin rejected the investigation as “legitimizing the content (prepared) by US special services ”.
The FSB, the main heir to Soviet-era KGB national security and led by Putin for a time, did not comment on the report. Russia has repeatedly denied that Navalny, which crashed on a Russian domestic flight in August, was poisoned in Tomsk, and states that the toxic substance type Novitchok, detected by Western laboratories after his hospitalization in Germany, was not present in his body when he was treated in Russia.
Navalny was flown to Germany for medical treatment after the incident, where he remains. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said she was poisoned by Novichok in an attempt to assassinate him, a statement that many Western nations accept.
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