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Pompeo: 'substantial chance' senior Russian officials behind Alexei Navalny poisoning
15:00, 10.09.2020

The US secretary of state Mike Pompeo has said there was a “substantial chance” the poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny was ordered by senior Russian officials.

“I think people all around the world see this kind of activity for what it is,” Pompeo said in a radio interview with conservative host Ben Shapiro. “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.”

Pompeo reiterated that the United States and its European allies all wanted Russia to “hold those responsible for this accountable” and said Washington would also try to identify the perpetrators.

“It’s something that we’ll take a look at, we’ll evaluate, and we’ll make sure we do our part to do whatever we can to reduce the risk that things like this happen again.”

Pompeo’s remarks come despite President Donald Trump’s comment last week that he had seen no proof that the Russian opposition leader was poisoned.

Russia’s foreign ministry summoned Germany’s ambassador and denounced an “ongoing massive disinformation campaign” aimed at “mobilising sanctions sentiment”.

The Kremlin has repeatedly denied responsibility, with a spokesperson on Monday denouncing “absurd” attempts to link the poisoning to Putin.

This week Navalny was taken out of an induced coma and was responding to speech but it was too early to assess any long-term effects, according to the Charité hospital in Berlin.
“I think 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,” Pompeo said.

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