December 16, 2020
ZAGREB (Reuters) – Russia on Wednesday rejected the findings of a joint media investigation that said it had identified Russian state security assassins behind the poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, describing it as an “amusing” read.
“We’re already used to the fact that the United States and other Western countries make new accusations against Russia in the media, be it about hackers or revelations about the double or even triple poisoning of Navalny,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
“It’s amusing to read these news items,” Lavrov added during a news conference in Zagreb alongside his Croatian counterpart Gordan Grlic Radman.
Navalny on Monday declared his poisoning case solved after a joint media inquiry said it had identified a team of assassins from Russia’s FSB security service as his would-be killers who had stalked him for years.
It said FSB operatives “that have specialised training in chemical weapons, chemistry and medicine” secretly followed Navalny around Russia for the last four years more than 37 times.
The investigation was carried out by Bellingcat and Russian media outlet The Insider in cooperation with CNN and the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel.
The Kremlin has repeatedly rejected any suggestion that Russian authorities tried to kill Navalny, one of President Vladimir Putin’s most prominent critics.
Navalny, 44, suddenly fell ill on a flight from Siberia to Moscow in August. He was airlifted for medical treatment to Germany, where he continues to undergo rehabilitation.
(Reporting by Igor Ilic in Zagreb and Tom Balmforth in Moscow; Writing by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Mark Heinrich)