Alexei Navalny’s top strategist has openly blamed Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin for the poisoning of the opposition politician.
“It was a big surprise. It was quite a shock. We didn’t doubt it was a poison, but the fact that they have chosen Mr. Putin’s favourite signature poison is still a surprise,” said Leonid Volkov.
Mr Navalny fell ill on a flight to Moscow on 20 August.
More than a week ago he was taken to a hospital in Berlin where authorities confirmed tests showed that he had been poisoned with a chemical nerve agent from the Novichok group.
“I don’t know what legal consequences this should be,” Volkov said. “But I know for sure what I want to have as an outcome, and this is the political or a moral, ethical consequence: I really want that no foreign leader ever would shake hands with Mr. Putin.”
A spokesman for President Putin dismissed allegations that the Kremlin was involved in the poisoning.