Russia’s president Vladimir Putin said on Thursday he had personally intervened to ensure that Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny could receive medical treatment in Germany after Navalny’s allies said he had been poisoned.
On August 20, Navalny fell ill on a flight from Siberia to Moscow, forcing the plane to make an emergency landing in Omsk, where he spent two days in hospital before being evacuated to Germany.
Germany says he was poisoned with a Soviet-style Novichok nerve agent in an attempt to murder him. Later, Germany said that two independent laboratories – one in Sweden and one in France – confirmed that Navalny was poisoned with Novichok. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has also confirmed that Navalny was poisoned with a nerve agent in the Novichok family.
Moscow has denied accusations that it was involved in the poisoning.
“There were travel restrictions against him related to a judicial investigation and a criminal case. But I nonetheless asked the General Prosecutor’s office to allow it and he left”, Putin said.
He added that if someone in Russia had wanted to poison Navalny, Moscow would not have allowed him to be flown to Berlin for treatment.
The EU and the UK last week imposed sanctions on Russian officials close to Putin as punishment for Navalny’s poisoning.