Russia Opens Probe into Navalny Illness after Western Pressure

Russian authorities announced a preliminary probe into the sudden illness last week of opposition leader Alexey Navalny after Western leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel involved an investigation of the high-profile case.

Russia Opens Probe into Navalny Illness after Western Pressure

The Interior Ministry called the probe a “pre-investigation check” and repeated the Kremlin’s earlier assertion that no poison has been found’ consistent with a press release Thursday from the Siberian administrative district police, where Navalny fell sick. That comes despite conclusions from doctors in Berlin, where he was appropriated’ the weekend for treatment, that the activist was poisoned.

Navalny, 44, fell violently ill on a flight from the Siberian city of Tomsk to Moscow last week. He’s been in an induced coma since then. Doctors at Berlin’s Charity hospital said his condition is serious but stable. They said he had been exposed’ to a cholinesterase inhibitor, a group that has some nerve agents, though the precise compound hasn’t yet been, identified.

The Kremlin initially ignored Merkel’s involve a search, saying there was nothing to research until the precise poison decided, fueling tensions with Berlin. Officials within the U.S., U.K. and France also involved an inquiry.

Russian President Putin relented Wednesday evening, telling Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte that the Kremlin is curious about a “thorough, objective investigation” of Navalny’s hospitalization, consistent with a Kremlin statement. But he also warned against making “premature and unfounded accusations” within the case.

The Interior Ministry said its officers in Omsk, where Navalny was first hospitalized’ began the probe Aug. 20, the day he fell ill, though it wasn’t publicly disclosed’ at that point, Interfax reported.

“Navalny’s status outside the system also means he cannot calculate getting justice from the state, which views him as something approaching a neoplastic cell,” Tatiana Stanovaya, a nonresident scholar at the Carnegie Moscow Center, wrote. “A thorough investigation into his poisoning isn't to be expected.”

On Thursday, German secretary of state Heiko Maas said the episode is already hurting Russia’s relations with Europe.

“There are many who think that Russian authorities are behind this poisoning attack. that's disputed by Moscow,” Maas said in an interview with ZDF television. “One should therefore provide evidence that it’s not the case.”


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