Belarusian intelligence data proving blogger Alexei Navalny’s alleged poisoning was a fake have been handed over to the federal security service FSB and the special service will now report them to President Vladimir Putin, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.
“The materials were handed over yesterday. As you must have noticed, Lukashenko said yesterday they would be shared with the FSB,” Peskov said.
“The FSB will certainly make a report about the documents obtained from the Belarusian counterparts. I have no doubts about that,” Peskov said, adding that it was “the function of any special service.”
Asked which side Russia was inclined to believe, Germany or Belarus (bearing in mind the fact that Russian foreign intelligence service chief Sergei Naryshkin said the very fact Lukashenko made such accusations against the West indicated that he had enough reasons for that), Peskov called for being precise and avoiding distortion of facts.
“Naryshkin did not rule out such a possibility, let us be accurate,” Peskov said.
Also, he said that the materials in question “circulate among the special services” and “respectively are analyzed by our special services.” Peskov reiterated he found it difficult to say something regarding the content of the materials the Belarusian side had gathered.
The presidential spokesman declined to comment on Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s statement that Germany and Poland fabricated data on the poisoning of blogger Alexei Navalny.
“I don’t have information on those files, so I cannot comment on the Belarusian president’s statement,” he told reporters on Friday.
Cooperation with medics
Medical professionals at the Omsk hospital where Russian blogger Alexei Navalny was originally taken were far more open when informing the public about his condition than their German colleagues are now, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday.
“In all fairness, we should probably draw everyone’s attention to the fact that the Omsk hospital provided more information about the patient’s health than, for example, the Berlin hospital is doing right now. <…> Our doctors behaved much more transparently with regard to informing both journalists and all those interested than their German colleagues do,” Peskov concluded.
The Kremlin spokesman stressed that Russia was not hiding facts. “They are well known. We told you about them. All our partners and counterparts are well aware of them from the very first days the information was provided,” he assured.
Dmitry Peskov informed that if proof of presence of a poison in Alexei Navalny’s body is found an investigation into his possible poisoning will commence de jure.
“Our specialists from the Ministry of the Interior are conducting a pre-investigation inspection, it began almost immediately. De facto, it is an investigation and it is underway. If proof of presence of some poisonous substances is found in biological samples of the patient, without doubt, an investigation proper will commence de jure,” the Kremlin spokesman said.
Russia prefers to act consistently and carefully when looking into different versions of the Navalny incident, Peskov added. “Very different versions, including the poisoning version, were on the table since the beginning, when the patient was still in the intensive care unit in Omsk. According to our medics and our specialists, the poisoning hypothesis has not been confirmed. Other medical hypotheses have also been reviewed,” he recalled.
The Kremlin spokesman also pointed out that, according to statements made by the official representatives of the Western countries, including the German chancellor, the German specialists managed to discover an unidentified poisonous substance.
“In this case, we count on dialogue with the German colleagues and expect that we will receive information about this substance through this dialogue,” Peskov said
He reiterated that this information will assist the Ministry of the Interior in its efforts.
The spokesman refrained from theorizing on who might benefit from Navalny’s poisoning, either inside or outside Russia. “In this situation, we rely on facts, we act consistently and carefully, and we call on everybody else to rely on facts as well,” he concluded.
Lukashenko said at a meeting with Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin on Thursday that Minsk had intercepted a conversation between Berlin and Warsaw, which proved that the story of Navalny’s poisoning had been concocted.
The German government said on Wednesday, citing the results of a toxicological analysis carried out by Bundeswehr experts, that Navalny had been poisoned with the Novichok nerve agent. Peskov said that Moscow was ready to cooperate with Germany in order to establish all circumstances of the Navalny case.
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, in turn, noted that Germany had failed to provide any evidence of poisoning.
Statements that Russia is involved in the situation around Russian blogger Alexei Navalny who is undergoing treatment in Berlin’s Charite clinic are inappropriate, Russian Ambassador to Germany Sergei Nechayev said in an interview with the German ZDF TV channel.
“The reproaches that Russia is somehow involved in these events are absolutely misplaced from our point of view,” he said.
Russian blogger Alexei Navalny was hospitalized in Omsk on August 20 after he suddenly felt ill in mid-flight traveling from Tomsk to Moscow. The blogger fell into a coma and was connected to a lung ventilator. Later, he was taken to Berlin and admitted to the Charite clinic.
On Wednesday, the German government said that German military toxicologists had found that Navalny had been exposed to a nerve agent of the Novichok family. Berlin called on Moscow to clarify the circumstances of the incident. The Russian side stated that it was ready for comprehensive investigation of the situation around Navalny. However, Russia’s Foreign Ministry noted that the German side did not present any proof of their version of the events.
Header: Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov © Mikhail Metzel/TASS