The State Department on Wednesday blamed Russia’s internal security service, the FSB, as responsible for the near-fatal attack on opposition leader Alexei Navalny, allegedly perpetrated by nervous agent Novichok, on a strong charge against Moscow.
“The United States believes that officers from the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) used a Novichok nerve agent to poison Mr. Navalny. There is no plausible explanation for Navalny’s poisoning other than the involvement and responsibility of the Russian government, ”said a State Department spokesman in a statement to The Hill on Wednesday.
“It is clear that President Putin and the Russian government want us to believe otherwise. Russia has suggested numerous conspiracy theories, often contradictory. Let’s be clear – these types of conspiracy theories are nothing more than a way to divert attention away from the serious questions that the Russian government has yet to answer. ”
The spokesman said the United States had “complete confidence” in the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’ findings in October that toxic chemicals taken from Navalny’s blood and urine were related to the Novichok group.
“The United States has full confidence in the OPCW findings, which confirmed previous results from German, French and Swedish laboratories, that Navalny was exposed to an unscheduled Novichok nerve agent,” said the spokesman.
The State Department statement comes after the publication of a joint investigation between Navalny, the online media outlet Bellingcat and CNN, which revealed that an elite unit within the FSB put the poison in Navalny’s underwear after following the opposition figure for almost three years.
Navalny is currently recovering in Germany, where he was transferred in August from a Russian hospital in Omsk, where he was initially taken for treatment after he fell ill on a plane leaving the city of Tomsk.
Navalny is a notable thorn in the Russian president Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich Putin, State Department, says Russian security agency behind Navalny poisoning Doctors reveal Navalny’s symptoms and treatment in new article Democracy, history and Presidential Records Act MOREand gained fame for his investigations into corruption by Russian government officials.
Russia has denied that it is responsible for the attack on Navalny and Putin rejected at a news conference on Thursday the allegations of FSB involvement, although he said that if they had been involved, “they probably would have gone ahead”.
The State Department statement blaming Moscow is likely to further heighten tensions between the U.S. and Russia, and comes at a time when the Trump administration is battling an unprecedented cyber hack at various agencies that senior officials have assigned to Moscow. .