On Wednesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Germany was treating the Navalny case as “attempted murder by poisoning,” and was waiting for Russia to explain its position and provide answers.
A call between Warsaw and Berlin was intercepted, showing that German Chancellor Merkel’s statements about Alexei Navalny were false, President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, claimed during a meeting with Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin in Minsk on Thursday.
A Telegram channel Pul Pervogo shared a video showing Lukashenko during the meeting with Mishustin. The Belarusian president can be heard saying that the call which Minsk had intercepted proves that Merkel’s statements were false and Navalny was not poisoned.
“I have to tell you that yesterday or the day before yesterday before Merkel made a statement, [where] she said they wanted to silence Navalny, we intercepted a conversation … As far as we understand, it’s Warsaw talking with Berlin — two persons on the line. Our radar intelligence intercepted it…There was no poisoning of Navalny. The specialists prepared facts and maybe statements that Merkel made for her. They did it to ‘make sure that Putin would not interfere in Belarusian affairs,” Lukashenko said.
He added that his team will hand over the recording to Russia’s Federal Security Service.
Earlier this week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that Berlin was treating the Navalny case as “attempted murder by poisoning,” and was waiting for Russia to explain its position and provide answers. She also said that her government would consult with its allies in NATO and the EU on how to respond.
The chancellor made her statement after a spokesman for the German government claimed that tests showed that Russian opposition figure Navalny was poisoned by a nerve agent of the Novichok group.
On 20 August, Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny fell gravely ill during a flight from Tomsk to Moscow. Following an emergency landing in Omsk, he was taken to a local hospital where for the next 44 hours doctors fought for his life, as he went into a coma and was put on an artificial lung ventilator.
Immediately after Navalny fell ill, his spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh rushed to claim that he might have been poisoned. Russian doctors said they did not rule out poisoning at the beginning but after multiple tests were conducted they found no traces of poisonous substances in Navalny’s system. They suggested that his condition was caused by an abrupt drop of glucose in his blood due to a metabolic imbalance.
On 22 August, Navalny was flown to Berlin for further treatment at the Charite clinic. German doctors claimed that they had found traces of a substance from the group of cholinesterase inhibitors in his body, which the Russian doctors denied, citing his initial test results.