On September 14th, Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny woke up and immediately said he wanted to return to Russia, according to an unnamed German security official.
“He’s not planning to go into exile in Germany,” the official said. “He wants to go home to Russia and he wants to continue his mission.”
The security official, who was briefed on his condition, said Navalny seemed mentally sharp.
“He’s fully aware of his condition, he’s fully aware of what happened and he’s fully aware of where he is,” said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity to talk candidly about the case.
This came hours after laboratories in Sweden and France had allegedly confirmed that Navalny was poisoned with Novichok, the German government announced.
In response to the accusations, the head of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) Sergei Naryshkin said that at the time of departure from Russia to Germany, there were no poisonous substances in the body of Navalny.
He stressed that the Russian doctors in Omsk, who treated Navalny after his hospitalization from the plane, conducted research according to all protocols and found no traces of the poison.
“The fact is that our Russian doctors, the doctors of the Omsk hospital, who saved the life of Alexei Navalny, of course, carried out in the shortest possible time the most in-depth complex of studies, examinations, including the identification of toxic and toxic substances. These studies were carried out using the most modern equipment, according to the most stringent medical protocols. And no signs of the presence of toxic substances in the body of Alexei Navalny were found, they were not there,” Naryshkin said.
“Moreover, the data is available, it is contained in the relevant documents, and samples of the biological material of Alexei Navalny are also at the disposal of doctors. The fact is that at the time when Alexei Navalny flew out of the territory of the Russian Federation, his body did not contain any toxic, poisonous substances,” the head of the intelligence explained.
Commenting on the information about the alleged “poisoning” of Navalny with military poisonous poison from the Novichok group, Naryshkin noted that all Novichok’s stocks in Russia were destroyed in accordance with the protocols of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
“They were destroyed in accordance with the protocols and regulations of the OPCW. And this was recorded in due course. Therefore, to say that there are either production facilities or old stocks of chemical warfare agents on the territory of Russia is, of course, misinformation,” the head of the Foreign Intelligence Service said.
Furthermore, Germany has not yet responded to the request of the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office on the incident with the blogger undergoing treatment in Berlin. On September 14th, the Prosecutor General’s Office sent a new request to the competent judicial authorities of Germany.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will not go to Berlin for the closing ceremony of the “joint” Year of Scientific and Educational Partnerships due to the fact that his German counterpart Heiko Maas will not participate in it, and the program itself has been significantly curtailed.
In addition, Lavrov said that Russia’s western partners in the situation with Navalny’s “poisoning” went beyond all reason.
In conclusion, after more than two weeks of accusations against Russia, Moscow’s permanent mission to the European Union issued a statement on the matter. It is below, in its entirety:
“In recent weeks we have been witnessing a rapidly growing information campaign in the EU – both in official circles and media – over an incident which occurred with a Russian political activist and blogger Alexey Navalny on 20 August 2020. Not claiming to be experts in toxicology, we still consider it necessary to draw your attention to multiple inconsistencies regarding this case. In the light of forthcoming debate in the European Parliament we call on EU officials and MEPs to look into a number of following questions.
- Would there be any rationale behind the Russian authorities’ alleged decision to poison Alexey Navalny with the use of a military-grade chemical nerve agent of the “Novichok” group, which falls under CWC ban, in a Russian city with half a million population and then to do their utmost to save his life and let him go for further medical treatment to Germany, where “Novichok” could be identified?
- What would be the reason for the Russian authorities to poison Alexey Navalny, taking into account that his actual popularity level hardly reaches 2%, according to the recent survey conducted in July 2020 by Levada Centre, an independent, nongovernmental polling and sociological research organization?
- Why is the German government so reluctant to provide Russian competent authorities with the results of toxicological analysis carried out by a specialized laboratory of the German armed forces or to make them public, if Berlin is confident that Mr.Navalny was poisoned? The Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation submitted to German authorities an official request for legal assistance on 27 August 2020. Berlin has not been however willing to respond to the request in a prompt and constructive manner, first dragging its feet only to declare later that no evidence would be provided due to confidentiality and ultimately declaring the whole case secret?
- At the same time we have been constantly hearing that it is essential for the Russian Government to investigate thoroughly and in a transparent manner the assassination attempt of Mr.Navalny. It is stated that all evidence and witnesses are to be found “somewhere in Siberia”. Was it a coincidence that at the same time some of the persons who accompanied Mr.Navalny on his trip to Siberia promptly left Russia for Germany right after the incident?
- Why do the German doctors from the Charite Hospital shy away from professional dialogue with the Russian colleagues in spite of evident inconsistencies in Mr.Navalny’s symptoms, toxicological analysis and diagnosis? The German Federal Chamber of Medicine rejected the proposal of Russian counterparts to set up a joint group to conduct a medical examination in Mr.Navalny’s case.
- Why is it declared that a military-grade chemical nerve agent of the “Novichok” group was developed by the Soviet Union and later Russia, neglecting that for a number of years specialists from Western states and relevant NATO centres have been developing chemical substances related to the “Novichok” group? For example, the US has issued more than 150 patents for combat use of the mentioned chemical substances.
- Why was Mr.Navalny upon his arrival to Berlin escorted to the Charite Hospital by police and special service agents? Why were extraordinary security measures taken and the hospital itself was turned into a high-security facility well before the “discovery” of “Novichok”? Does it mean that Berlin knew something that neither Moscow nor Omsk were aware of? It is worth noting that more than 60 biochemical tests were conducted in the Omsk Hospital, none showing any sign of poisoning.
- What is behind the story of the “bottle of water”, ostensibly with traces of poison on it? No CCTV or photo evidence shows Mr.Navalny using it before departure at Tomsk airport. If used before that or aboard the Moscow-bound plane, how did it get to Berlin?
- Why not a single specialist in toxicology, civilian or military, nor any Charite doctor at all has produced a qualified statement on the case (as Russian doctors did)?
Claims that whatever evidence may be transmitted to Russia only with the patient’s consent are not compatible with numerous political-level statements made in Germany while he was still comatose.”
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