If the West can’t offer any concrete evidence that Navalny was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok, it’s time to turn the page, Putin said on Thursday.
Speaking to gathered journalists at his annual end-of-year press conference, the president stated that the Russian prosecutor’s office had not received a single document confirming claims that the opposition figure had been poisoned, and therefore the subject should be considered closed.
“There is no need to talk about it. Let’s move on,” said Putin.
In August of last year, Navalny fell ill on a flight to Moscow from Tomsk. After a forced emergency landing in Omsk, he was taken to hospital and placed in a coma. A few days later, after requests from his family, he was flown to Berlin, where he was treated in the city’s Charite Clinic.
Shortly after arriving in Germany, doctors announced that the opposition figure had been poisoned with Novichok.
According to Navalny, he was attacked with the nerve agent on the Kremlin’s orders. This assertion was supported by a joint investigation by Russian-language outlet, The Insider, along with CNN, Germany’s Der Spiegel, and the US- and UK-state-funded Bellingcat, which claimed that the FSB had been tailing him for several years, and eventually tried to kill him.