Attempts to somehow associate Russia with what happened are unacceptable to us, they are absurd,” Kremlin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said during a press conference in the Russian capital on Monday.
The 44-year-old outspoken critic was first transferred to a hospital in the Siberian city of Omsk after collapsing during a domestic flight from the city to Moscow on August 20. His plane had been forced to make an emergency landing due to the sudden deterioration in his health.
Doctors subsequently found no trace of any poison in his blood or tissue samples and said that the deterioration had been caused by a sudden drop of glucose in his blood due to a metabolic imbalance.
However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was quick to allege that there was “unequivocal evidence” that Navalny had been poisoned with a Soviet-style Novichok nerve agent in an attempt to murder him and that she would consult NATO allies about how to respond.
The opposition figure’s associates, for their parts, also claim that the purported use of Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent, allegedly shows that only Moscow could be responsible.
The Russian government has fiercely denied any involvement in the so-called “poisoning” case, warning other countries against jumping to conclusions without knowing the full facts.