The Kremlin has denied the accusations that President Vladimir Putin was involved in poisoning critic Alexei Navalny.
According to the international news agency, spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that the allegations were not true and could not be taken seriously.
embedpost slug= “Flight carrying Alexei Navalny lands in Berlin, Germany”]
Mr. Navalny was taken to Germany for treatment. Doctors said that he had “probably” been poisoned but Mr. Peskov questioned why they had “rushed” to that opinion.
Mr. Peskov said regarding allegations of President Putin’s involvement: “We can’t take such accusations seriously.
They absolutely cannot be true. They’re more like ’empty noise’, so we don’t intend to take them seriously.”
However, Mr. Navalny’s spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh responded in a tweet, “It was obvious that the crime would not be properly investigated and the culprit found. However, we all know perfectly well who he is.”
Mr. Peskov said that the diagnoses provided by both Russian and German doctors matched but the “conclusions differ”.
“We don’t understand why our German colleagues are in such a hurry. The substance hasn’t yet been established,” he said.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for a Russian investigation into the matter. The UK also called for a “full and transparent” investigation.
Mr. Peskov said one would only be launched if poisoning were definitely established as a cause.
Mr. Navalny is still in an artificial coma and is being treated in intensive care.
The Charité hospital says that “clinical evidence suggests an intoxication through a substance belonging to the group of cholinesterase inhibitors”.