Putin tells Macron that Navalny is a ‘pretender and blackmailer’
French President Macron says Putin’s suggestion that Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny may have poisoned himself with chemical warfare agent Novichok is ‘untenable.’
LeMonde published details of the discussion between the two presidents, in which Putin called Navalny an ‘ordinary troublemaker from the internet’, who uses his anti-corruption investigations to blackmail officials.
Putin claims Navalny had “faked illness” before.
Putin also argued that Navalny could have poisoned himself with Novichok as ‘the production of this substance is not as difficult as it seems.’
According to another account proposed by the Russian president, traces of the crime may lead to Latvia, where one of the developers of Novichok lives.
Emmanuel Macron rejected Putin’s suggestions that Navalny could have poisoned himself and said the “Latvian trace” was an untenable hypothesis.
On the official website of the Russian president, this conversation is described in one sentence: “A detailed exchange of views took place concerning the case of A. Navalny.”
Alexei Navalny himself answered in more detail to Vladimir Putin. On his FB account, he wrote:
“Vladimir Putin told his French colleague: ‘Navalny could have swallowed this poison himself.’
“Good version. I think that it deserves the closest study. I cooked up Novichok in the kitchen. I took a sip from a flask on the plane. I fell into a coma. Prior to that, I agreed with my wife, friends and colleagues that if the Ministry of Health insists that I be taken to Germany for treatment, they would in no way allow me to do this.
To die in an Omsk hospital and end up in an Omsk morgue, where the cause of death would be established, ‘he lived enough’ —that was the ultimate goal of my cunning plan. But Putin outplayed me. He just can’t be fooled. As a result, I, like a fool, lay in a coma for 18 days, but did not achieve my goal. The provocation failed!”
The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that Novichok has never been produced either in Russia or in the USSR.