Russian opposition politician Navalny plans to return to Russia

Alexei Navalny © Dmitry Serebryakov/TASS. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

NEW YORK, Sep 15, 2020, TASS. Russian blogger Alexei Navalny is not planning to stay in Germany forever and wants to return to Russia once he recovers in order to continue his mission, a senior German security official told The New York Times, TASS reported.

“He’s not planning to go into exile in Germany,” the official said, according to the newspaper. “He wants to go home to Russia and he wants to continue his mission.”

Navalny, who spoke to a German prosecutor, refused to cooperate with a Russian request to jointly investigate the case with Germany, the security official said.

Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny was rushed to a local hospital in the Siberian city of Omsk on August 20 after collapsing on the Tomsk-Moscow flight. He fell into a coma and was hooked up to a ventilator in the intensive care unit. On August 22, he was airlifted to the Charite hospital in Berlin. On September 2, the German government claimed that Navalny had been poisoned with a Novichok-family toxic agent.

On Monday, Berlin claimed that three EU laboratories, including those in France and Sweden, had confirmed the German conclusions. According to the German Foreign Ministry, experts of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons also took samples from Navalny, forwarding them to the organization’s reference laboratories.

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said later that Russia was ready for comprehensive cooperation with Germany. He noted that before Navalny was transferred to Berlin, no toxic substances had been found in his system. For her part, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that the German Foreign Ministry had not provided any evidence of the alleged poisoning to the Russian ambassador.

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