On September 3rd, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko told Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin that Germany “falsified” its statement that Russian figure Alexei Navalny was poisoned.
The Russian Prime Minister was on an official visit to Belarus.
“We intercepted a conversation between Warsaw and Berlin before Merkel’s statement… which clearly states that this is a falsification,” Lukashenko told Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.
“Navalny was never poisoned,” Lukashenko said in a televised meeting shared by a Telegram channel.
According to Lukashenko, German Chancellor Angela Merkel made the public accusation against Russia and that Navalny was poisoned with Novichok “to discourage [Russian President Vladimir] Putin from sticking his nose in Belarusian affairs.”
Lukashenko said he’ll forward the purported intercepted call between Germany and Poland to Russia’s FSB security service.
During the entire time Mishustin look at the Belarusian president with a stone face, not saying anything, and also not reacting.
The Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that Russia was not yet in possession of the materials that led Lukashenko to conclude that Germany falsified the Navalny poisoning claims.
Sergei Naryshkin, who heads Russia’s SVR foreign intelligence service, told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency it was “possible” that Navalny’s poisoning was a “provocation” by Western intelligence agencies.
“If the president of Belarus said it, then he had a reason,” Naryshkin was quoted as saying.
Separately, on September 3rd, Russia’s Investigative Committee has asked one of its regional branches in Siberia to probe the possibility that someone tried to murder Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.
This followed a claim that Navalny was poisoned with a Soviet-style Novichok nerve agent and has called for the perpetrators to be held to account.
Russia denied the accusations, saying that there was no actual evidence, and none has actually been presented. It also makes little sense that Russian medics couldn’t detect the poison that their own country allegedly produced and then would simply turn Navalny over to Germany so that the West finds out he was allegedly poisoned under orders by the Kremlin.
Regardless, Lukashenko’s claims are also quite dubious. They are the result of years of anti-Russian policy, in which he attempts to antagonize Moscow, and then asks for a handout in the form a discount on natural gas, or some other product.
At the same time, in the time of the current crisis it appears that the West also don’t view him as an ally, and would rather have him organize new “fair elections” so that somebody from the opposition could be chosen.
And now, as a result, it’s time for Lukashenko to attempt and stir some controversy, show his loyalty to Moscow in order to get some concessions or any form of support from Russia.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Belarus Chooses Integration With Russia Against Navalny Poisoning
- EU, U.S. And Co. Continue Calls For Belarusian Democracy, As Lukashenko Claims Situation Is Neither Tense Nor Complicated