- As per the Russian officials' conclusion on Friday, it was metabolic problems and pancreatitis that caused Alexei Navalny to fall seriously ill in August.
- The director of the Russian external intelligence service claims NATO was behind the poisoning.
- The Interior Ministry says there was no poisoning.
Russian police said Friday that the Kremlin’s main critic, Alexei Navalny, suffered from “pancreatitis,” once again rubbishing the dissident’s claims that he was deliberately poisoned. Navalny underwent treatment in Germany after falling seriously ill in Siberia in late August.
As per the Russian officials’ conclusion on Friday, it was metabolic problems and pancreatitis that caused Alexei Navalny to fall seriously ill in August.
The Siberian branch of the Russian Interior Ministry elaborated that doctors who briefly treated Navalny for two days, before he was flown to Berlin, concluded that the root cause of the dissident’s illness was “disruption of carbohydrate metabolism and chronic pancreatitis.”
“The diagnosis of ‘poisoning’ . . . was not confirmed,” as per a statement released by the ministry.
In late August the 44 year-old Russian firebrand fell terribly ill during a flight in Siberia. After two days in a local hospital, Navalny was allowed to be flown to Germany for further treatment.
However in direct contrast to Russia’s conclusion, three European laboratories, whose findings were confirmed by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), concluded that the dissident was poisoned by a neurotoxin of the Novichok group, a substance manufactured during the Soviet era.
The dissident, who is still recuperating in Germany, directly accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of being behind his poisoning, a conclusion that was refuted by Moscow. “I assert that Putin is behind this act, I don’t see any other explanation,” Navalny told German news magazine Der Spiegel in an interview.
As per the Russian authority’s new take on the issue, the Kremlin has rejected in totality the poisoning version, and accused the Western secret services, people close to the opponent, or himself of the authorship of the poisoning version, which the Kremlin considers null and void.
The director of the Russian external intelligence service (SVR), Sergei Narychkine, asserted Friday that Navalny’s death would have rendered him a “sacrificial victim” useful to Westerners to “relaunch the protest movement in Russia.”
Navalny, however, took to the social network Facebook and described Narychkine as an “imbecile,” owing to the official’s conclusion on the issue.
On the social network Twitter, Navalny called it funny, the fact that on the same day, Narychkine said that he was poisoned by the NATO countries, and on the other hand, the Ministry of the Interior said that there was no poisoning.
“It seems NATO countries convinced me to start a fatal diet,” Navalny wrote on Twitter, referring to one of the versions advanced by Moscow, that the opponent’s health problems were linked to an unbalanced diet.
Navalny’s alleged poisoning further damaged relations between Russia and the West, and six senior Russian officials were sanctioned by the European Union for links to the case.