Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalni has accused the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, of being responsible for his poisoning with a nerve agent from the Novichok group in an interview published this Thursday The mirror in which he confirms his intention to return to Russia to continue his political activism. “I maintain that Putin is behind the events and I have no other versions of what happened,” he told the weekly, before stressing that “the most important data is Novichok.”
Según Navalni, “only three people” may have given the order to use it: the head of the Federal Security Service (FSB, former KGB), the Head of the Foreign Espionage Service (SVR) and also the head of the Russian military intelligence service (GRU).
Those who know the Russian reality also know that “such a decision cannot be made without Putin’s order,” because they are subordinate to him, he says. “If it wasn’t him, everything would be even more serious. One glass of Novichok is enough to poison every passenger in a large Berlin subway station. If access to this war agent is not in the hands of three people, but thirty, it would be a global threat. That would be horrible, “he argued.
Navalni, who was discharged last week from the Berlin Charité hospital after receiving treatment for 32 days, remarks that doctors think you will be able to recover 90%, maybe even 100%, adding that it is in fact “something like a guinea pig.” “There are not so many people who can be observed how they continue to live after poisoning with a nerve agent,” he says in the interview, while warning that “the Russian leadership has developed a tendency to poisoning that it will not abandon as soon”.
Not returning to Russia would mean Putin achieved his goal
Regarding its future plans, Navalni ensures that will not give Putin “the gift of not returning to Russia”. “I am glad that no one around me thought that I was not going to return. Not returning would mean that Putin achieved his goal. And my task now is to remain the type who is not afraid. And I am not afraid!
He adds that he has no interest in “the nonsense of the emigrant” or in being “an opposition leader in exile.”
Regarding the debate regarding the possible suspension of the Nord Stream 2 project, the gas pipeline that will bring Russian gas to Germany through the bottom of the Baltic Sea, Navalni points out that this is a matter for Germany and that it is that country that has to make the decision.
In any case, he expressed his conviction that “Sanctions against Russia as a whole do not work”, but only those that are applied against “specific criminals”. A measure, he assures, “that would welcome 95% of Russians.” “Despite all the sanctions imposed, these people still feel quite good in the West. As long as the Russian elite can continue to use Europe’s infrastructure, nothing will change,” he says.
A deep gap between Russia and Germany
The opposition leader also refers to the visit that the German Chancellor Angela Merkel paid him in the hospital, which he qualifies as a “gesture”, while underlining his “deep knowledge” of what is happening in Russia. “My impression of the conversation with Angela Merkel is that she does not need advice from me,” she says, although she states that “any strategy towards Russia must take into account the state of madness that Putin has reached.”
Navalni recalls that “between Germany and Russia there has always been a special relationship, which is why for a long time Putin was out of the question to risk a conflict with Berlin“” That is over, just like those times when one couldn’t imagine that political assassinations were possible in Russia, “he said.
According to the opposition leader, the “surprisingly clear words” of the German Government probably have less to do with his person, than with “the realization of the dangerous course that Russia has taken“, he adds.
On the same day that Navalni was admitted to a hospital in the Siberian city of Omsk after collapsing during a flight from suspected poisoning, Merkel declared that Germany was willing to offer medical aid and asylum to the opposition leader, for which she thanked him during your visit in the hospital. “I thanked him for interceding and he said: ‘I just fulfilled my obligation'”, explica Navalni.