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Iran Press TV

Russia believes Navalny's poisoning case a 'sham'

Iran Press TV

Tuesday, 02 February 2021 7:24 PM

Russia believes that the case of opposition figure Alexei Navalny is nothing but a "sham," since Moscow has not been provided with any information to prove Western allegations that he was recently poisoned, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says.

Foreign Minister Lavrov made the comment at a joint press conference with his Swedish counterpart, Ann Linde, in the Russian capital of Moscow on Tuesday.

Lavrov accused Sweden and Germany of "pursuing an anti-Russian political agenda" that is not grounded in real facts, and said the alleged poisoning attack on Navalny could have been "staged" by the West.

"As for the Navalny case, no information has been provided to us to prove accusations against the Russian authorities," the top Russian diplomat said. "If you make accusations against someone, then prove their guilt. And if you say: 'I won't tell you anything because it's a secret,' we have reasons to believe that it's a sham."

Lavrov also said there had been no response to the request regarding how and on what basis a Swedish military laboratory had concluded that Navalny had been poisoned.

"Today, I once again reminded the Swedish side that since a Swedish military laboratory conducted an analysis and the conclusions of German experts were publicly confirmed, we expect our Swedish colleagues to show transparency and honesty in this case," he said.

Russian police detained Navalny on arrival at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport from Germany last month, five months after he was transferred to a hospital in Berlin to be treated for what the West alleged had been a nerve agent attack by Moscow.

Western governments have been attacking Russia with accusations that it poisoned Navalny, saying Moscow must help investigate the case or face consequences.

Russia has denied the allegation, describing it as a provocation of Western intelligence services aimed at justifying more sanctions against Russia.

Germany has rejected a request by Russian prosecutors to provide Navalny's medical records for a study of his condition.

Navalny, who was arrested for violating the terms of a suspended sentence he initially received in 2014, is set to remain behind bars until mid-February, awaiting trial.

Last October, European Union (EU) foreign ministers agreed to support a French-German proposal to slap sanctions on several Russian military intelligence officials over Navalny's case.

Russia, in response, announced retaliatory sanctions against a number of European officials over their "confrontational" actions.

Navalny's supporters have gathered in the Russian capital during several unsanctioned demonstrations to protest the detention of the 44-year-old opposition figure and to demand his release.

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