Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov commented today on German reports that Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny had been poisoned while traveling from the Siberian city of Omsk, where he was campaigning against Russian political corruption. Peskov declared there was ‘no need’ for a criminal investigation because no poison had actually been found in Navalny’s body.
“First, it is necessary to identify the substance, to find out what caused his condition. It means there should be grounds for an investigation. So far, all we can say is that the patient is in a coma,” he said, reported Russian state news agency TASS.
“If the substance is established and if it is established that this is poisoning, then, of course, this will be a cause for investigation,” he said.
“Medics are addressing this matter, first Russian doctors and then German doctors. They are conducting phase one of this investigation, trying to find out what has caused the condition the patient is in now. So far, regrettably, to no avail,” he said.
When asked to comment on the decision to administer atropine after it was found out that the patient had low levels of cholinesterase, the Kremlin spokesman noted that it was purely medical information. “We simply called and asked the doctor what it means at all. None of us knows. An ordinary man has no idea of cholinesterase. I knew nothing about that until yesterday,” he confessed, wrote TASS.
Peskov noted that, according to medics, cholinesterase inhibitors are widely used in medicine. “There are lot of such medicines but no chemical components of such a preparation have been identified. Neither German nor our doctors are able to say what inhibited cholinesterase,” he stressed, adding that the Russian side “would be only grateful” if this substance is identified by German doctors.
The spokesman added that poisoning may be considered only as one of the versions of what happened to Navalny. “So far there are many other medical versions as well,” he noted, naming among them use of certain medicines and an individual reaction to certain circumstances. “All these versions were considered in the very first hours by the Omsk doctors and specialists from Moscow, all of this has been discussed and checked a dozen times already while looking for substances. It didn’t work out, they didn’t find it, they do not see this substance. Maybe, the Germans will see it,” the Kremlin representative said.
“Of course, our doctors are ready on their part to submit samples of the first tests as well as plan to propose exchanging information and various biological materials with German colleagues.”
Navalny remains in a coma in a hospital in Germany, after Russian authorities allowed his transfer by air ambulance, after his spokesman alleged the Kremlin was preventing his departure.