President Vladimir Putin's spokesman brushed off allegations Thursday that the Kremlin was involved in poisoning the Russian leader's most determined critic, accusing Germany of not providing Moscow with any evidence about the condition of Russian dissident Alexei Navalny. A politician and corruption investigator, Navalny fell ill on a flight to Moscow on Aug. 20 and was taken to a hospital in Siberia. He has been in an induced coma in a Berlin hospital after being flown to Germany for treatment more than a week ago, the AP reports. German authorities said Wednesday that tests showed "proof without doubt" that he had been poisoned with a chemical nerve agent from the Novichok group. British authorities identified the Soviet-era Novichok as the poison used on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in England in 2018. But Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov insisted Thursday that Russian authorities still had not received any evidence from Germany to back up the allegation.
"We hope that it will happen soon and will help figure out what caused the condition the patient is in right now," Peskov said. He added that Russian investigators conducting a preliminary inquiry should know “what our German colleagues found and established." German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday called Navalny's poisoning an attempted murder that aimed to silence one of Putin's fiercest critics and called for a full investigation. "I made a comprehensive statement yesterday about what we will do now and in the coming days," Merkel told reporters Thursday after meeting with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven. "And of course a lot depends on the respective reactions by the Russian government." Leonid Volkov, Navalny's longtime ally and campaign strategist, said Thursday that "an attack of such level and of such coordination couldn’t be not authorized by Mr. Putin."
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