In Wednesday’s interview, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suggested that top Russian officials might have had a hand in poisoning opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
“I think people all around the world see this kind of activity for what it is. And when they see the effort to poison a dissident, and they recognise that there is a substantial chance that this actually came from senior Russian officials, I think this is not good for the Russian people. I think it’s not good for Russia,” he said.
According to Mike Pompeo, the European Union and the United States made clear to the Russians their expectations that they would hold those responsible for poisoning Navalny accountable. ‘These kind of things’ put real black marks on countries, the top diplomat stressed.
“The world has matured and come to an understanding that this is not how normal countries operate, and this will prove costly for the Russians,” he added.
A day later, Kremlin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov commented on Mike Pompeo’s statement.
“We heard his statement. We are interested in finding out the causes of the incident. We believe that any direct or indirect links and hints about the involvement of any official Russian representatives in this incident are unacceptable and a priori erroneous and distorting the reality,” Russian news agency TASS quotes Peskov.
Politician Alexei Navalny was hospitalised on August 20. He was later transported to Germany, where experts found traces of substances from the Novichok group in the skin, blood and urine samples of the oppositionist.