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Putin’s Navalny comments a ‘smokescreen,’ accuses German foreign minister

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Germany’s Foreign Minister accused Russia of putting up smokescreens in connection with questions about the alleged poisoning of Kremlin-critic Alexei Navalny, adding that Moscow had done nothing to help clear up the affair.

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He added that sanctions against Russia were the correct response, and that nothing Moscow had since said in the affair had changed this. Navalny was airlifted to Berlin for treatment and although he has left hospital, he is still recuperating in Germany.

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“We’ve seen loads of smokescreens being launched from Moscow over the past weeks and months in connection with the Navalny case,” he told reporters. “Russia has had plenty of opportunities to clear this up and that hasn’t happened.”

Earlier on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin had said that reports linking Navalny’s poisoning on a Russian domestic flight to a team of alleged state security officers were part of a US-backed plot to discredit him.