Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny has been questioned by the prosecutor about the attack on him. The Ministry of Justice emphasizes Russia’s responsibility in providing information.

Kremlin critic Alexej Navalny has been questioned by German prosecutors about the poison attack on his life. “As part of the mutual legal assistance procedure, Mr Nawalny was questioned as a victim witness yesterday by the Berlin prosecutor,” a spokesman for the Federal Justice Department said in Berlin on Friday. There were “no Russian researchers present”; Navalny “strongly objected” to their presence.

The ministry spokesman stressed that the interrogation “did not signify approval of one or more” requests for legal assistance from the Russian side. “That has yet to be decided.” Moreover, it remains true that Russia must clarify the matter. “This crime must be investigated in Russia. This requires an investigation appropriate to the seriousness of the crime. All necessary information such as blood and tissue samples and clothing is in Russia,” said the spokesman.

Putin’s statements ‘stand for themselves’

Navalny collapsed on a flight from Russia in August. Two days later he was transferred in a coma to Charité University Hospital in Berlin. According to three European laboratories, the results of which have been confirmed by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Navalny has been poisoned with a chemical nerve agent from the Novichok group.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday denied that Russian secret services were involved in the poison attack. If these had been involved, “they would have ended it,” he said at his traditional press conference at the end of the year.

Government spokesman Steffen Seibert declined to comment on these statements in Berlin on Friday. Putin’s statements “stand for themselves,” he said. Foreign Affairs also declined to comment.

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