Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a conversation with French leader Emmanuel Macron, advised to look for a “Latvian trace” in the poisoning of FBK founder Alexei Navalny and admitted that the politician himself could have taken the Novichok poison. The French newspaper Le Monde writes about this, citing sources in the Elysee Palace.
As the newspaper notes, Putin explained to Macron that Navalny used the FBK to blackmail officials and deputies, and also committed illegal actions. The Russian president in every possible way denied any state involvement in the incident with Navalny and declared that such accusations were inappropriate.
Speaking about the very fact of the poisoning, the Russian leader told the French president that Navalny could have taken Novichok himself, since it is not difficult to make, and that the politician had repeatedly feigned ill health before. Finally, Putin suggested in a conversation with Macron that the trail of Novichok could lead to Latvia, where one of the developers of the chemical warfare agent now lives. Putin justified the lack of an investigation by the Russian side by the fact that neither France nor Germany had passed on to Moscow information about the hospitalization of the founder of the FBK, which would prove his poisoning by Novichok.
The French president did not accept the arguments of the Russian leader, sources said.
The telephone conversation between Putin and Macron took place on September 14. The leaders of the two countries discussed the situation in Belarus, as well as the incident with Navalny. In particular, the French president told Putin that research data from French and Swedish specialists allegedly confirmed the previously announced results of German military doctors about the poisoning of the founder of FBK with the poison of the Novichok group. The transcript of the conversation between the press services of the presidents of the two countries was not published, limiting themselves to the general theses of the conversation between the politicians in the communique.
Navalny was hospitalized on August 20 from a plane flying from Tomsk to Moscow, to the Omsk hospital, where he fell into a coma. On August 22, the politician was transported to the Berlin clinic “Charite”. As a result, German experts stated that they found traces of a poisonous substance from the Novichok group in his analyzes. Now Navalny has come out of a coma and continues treatment.