President Donald Trump has refused to condemn Russia over the poisoning of opposition determine Alexei Navalny, saying he had not seen proof.
He stated the case was “tragic” however urged reporters to focus as an alternative on China, which he stated was a much bigger risk to the world than Russia.
Nato and Germany say there’s “proof beyond doubt” that Mr Navalny was attacked with a Novichok nerve agent.
His crew says he was poisoned on the Kremlin’s orders. Russia denies this.
Mr Navalny – an anti-corruption campaigner who has lengthy been essentially the most distinguished face of opposition to President Vladimir Putin in Russia – is in a coma in a Berlin hospital having been airlifted there from Siberia, the place he fell ailing.
What did Trump say?
Speaking at a press occasion on Friday, he stated he had but to see proof of poisoning within the case.
“So I don’t know exactly what happened. I think it’s tragic, it’s terrible, it shouldn’t happen. We haven’t had any proof yet but I will take a look,” he stated.
He additionally stopped wanting criticising Mr Putin and stated Beijing posed a higher risk.
“It is interesting that everybody’s always mentioning Russia and I don’t mind you mentioning Russia but I think probably China at this point is a nation that you should be talking about much more so,” he stated.
What is Nato’s place?
Tests at a army laboratory in Germany present “beyond doubt” the presence of a Novichok nerve agent, the German authorities and Nato say.
On Friday Nato known as for Russia to disclose its Novichok nerve agent programme to worldwide displays. Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated members had been united in condemning the “horrific” assault on Mr Navalny.
Mr Stoltenberg stated it required a global response, however gave no additional particulars.
The US National Security Council has pledged to “work with allies and the international community to hold those in Russia accountable”.
What has Russia stated?
The Kremlin has repeatedly denied any involvement in Mr Navalny’s case.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated Germany had not but shared any findings with Moscow prosecutors and stated Russia had “nothing to hide”.
Meanwhile a toxicologist in Omsk – the place Mr Navalny was initially handled after the aircraft he was flying on made an emergency touchdown – insisted no poison had been discovered by docs who examined him there.
“Any external factors could have triggered a sudden deterioration. Even a simple lack of breakfast,” stated Alexander Sabayev, chief toxicologist for the Omsk area.
What occurred to Navalny?
He fell ailing final month whereas on a flight from Siberia to Moscow.
The aircraft made an emergency touchdown in Omsk and Russian officers had been persuaded to enable him to be airlifted to Germany two days later.
A nerve agent from the Novichok group recognized by Germany within the Navalny case was additionally used to poison ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter within the UK in 2018. They each survived however an area girl, Dawn Sturgess, died after coming into contact with the poison.
Britain accused Russia’s army intelligence of finishing up that assault in Salisbury. As a part of a co-ordinated response, 20 international locations expelled greater than 100 Russian diplomats and spies. Russia denied any involvement.