Germany asserts that the prominent critic of President Vladimir Putin was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok. But the Russian Foreign Ministry now accuses Berlin of “bluffing.”
Russia’s Foreign Ministry on Tuesday called on Germany’s ambassador to Moscow to attend talks regarding allegations Alexei Navalny was poisoned.
Officials in Berlin say that they have evidence to support their claim. Russian authorities say that Berlin is “bluffing.”
Opposition figure Navalny was airlifted to Berlin last month after he fell ill on a domestic flight in Russia. Medics in Berlin say evidence indicates he was poisoned by the nerve agent Novichok, a statement supported by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.
‘Dirty political agenda’
“This is too serious to allow German officials to keep everything to themselves,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote on Facebook.
“We expect Berlin to provide all available information: The results of laboratory studies and the ‘evidence’ that the foreign office has,” she added. “We are awaiting the German ambassador in Smolensk.”
Read more: Opinion: In wake of Navalny attack, what will become of German-Russian relations?
“It is obvious Berlin is bluffing, serving a dirty political agenda,” she concluded.
The UN called earlier on Monday for Russia to cooperate in an independent investigation into the poisoning. Moscow has denied any involvement.
Toxicology results not published
Navalny is the latest of many high-level Putin critics who have been poisoned.
After being airlifted to Berlin, he remained in a medically-induced coma. He was woken up on Monday.
Germany has not confirmed whether they will publish the full results of the toxicology tests which were carried out on Navalny.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are among those who have confirmed the German diagnosis of poisoning from the nerve agent Novichok.
ed/dr (Interfax, Reuters)