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Germany: Berliners react after German govt. says Alexei Navalny poisoned with Novichok03:14

Germany: Berliners react after German govt. says Alexei Navalny poisoned with Novichok

Germany, Berlin
September 3, 2020 at 14:46 GMT +00:00 · Published

Passersby in central Berlin shared their views, Thursday, on the German government’s announcement a day earlier that Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny had been poisoned with a chemical nerve agent from the Novichok family.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said Navalny was "the victim of a crime” and that "there are very difficult questions which only the Russian government can and must answer.”

One passerby in the German capital called for Berlin to adopt a tougher diplomatic approach towards Moscow in the wake of the announcement. "Not only sanctions but rather no negotiations, not always to indulge, which has always been the German strategy, it has been the strategy till now, Germany has eased off. This topic upsets me a lot, it is now difficult with Russia. America and now Russia, Europe, it makes me really worried," stated Rose-Marie Mueller.

"One should try and sit down with him [Putin], which he would not want to do […] but I don't believe that Putin ... that one can talk to Putin, he is of another mindset, undemocratic. When one is not democratic it is difficult to negotiate,” she added.

Another passerby, Jan Letau, said that further investigations were needed to establish the facts behind the incident. "I think they should apply pressure to clarify the case, that is for sure, but I would say then to openly determine the outcome and not to establish a culprit beforehand but rather really emphatically investigate who was really involved in this case,” he said.

On Wednesday, German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said that Navalny was poisoned with a chemical nerve agent from the Novichok family, during a joint press conference with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in Berlin. She cited the findings of a toxicological examination on samples from Navalny by a special laboratory of the German army.

Russia's ambassador to Germany, Sergei Nechaev, was summoned by the German Foreign Ministry over the findings. However, at the end of the meeting, the Russian ambassador received "no facts, no data, no formulas, no materials, and no references - nothing at all," according to Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova.

Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday that Russia was ready to cooperate with Germany over the case, while Russia's Prosecutor General has already requested information from the German Justice Ministry.

Navalny arrived in Berlin aboard a medical plane on August 22, after falling ill during a flight from Tomsk to Moscow on August 20. The original plane had been forced to make an emergency landing in Omsk where Navalny was rushed to hospital. The hospital in Omsk where Navalny was initially treated had dismissed the possibility of poisoning.

The Russian opposition leader remains in a serious condition at the Charite hospital in Berlin as of Thursday.

Germany: Berliners react after German govt. says Alexei Navalny poisoned with Novichok03:14
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Passersby in central Berlin shared their views, Thursday, on the German government’s announcement a day earlier that Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny had been poisoned with a chemical nerve agent from the Novichok family.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said Navalny was "the victim of a crime” and that "there are very difficult questions which only the Russian government can and must answer.”

One passerby in the German capital called for Berlin to adopt a tougher diplomatic approach towards Moscow in the wake of the announcement. "Not only sanctions but rather no negotiations, not always to indulge, which has always been the German strategy, it has been the strategy till now, Germany has eased off. This topic upsets me a lot, it is now difficult with Russia. America and now Russia, Europe, it makes me really worried," stated Rose-Marie Mueller.

"One should try and sit down with him [Putin], which he would not want to do […] but I don't believe that Putin ... that one can talk to Putin, he is of another mindset, undemocratic. When one is not democratic it is difficult to negotiate,” she added.

Another passerby, Jan Letau, said that further investigations were needed to establish the facts behind the incident. "I think they should apply pressure to clarify the case, that is for sure, but I would say then to openly determine the outcome and not to establish a culprit beforehand but rather really emphatically investigate who was really involved in this case,” he said.

On Wednesday, German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said that Navalny was poisoned with a chemical nerve agent from the Novichok family, during a joint press conference with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in Berlin. She cited the findings of a toxicological examination on samples from Navalny by a special laboratory of the German army.

Russia's ambassador to Germany, Sergei Nechaev, was summoned by the German Foreign Ministry over the findings. However, at the end of the meeting, the Russian ambassador received "no facts, no data, no formulas, no materials, and no references - nothing at all," according to Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova.

Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday that Russia was ready to cooperate with Germany over the case, while Russia's Prosecutor General has already requested information from the German Justice Ministry.

Navalny arrived in Berlin aboard a medical plane on August 22, after falling ill during a flight from Tomsk to Moscow on August 20. The original plane had been forced to make an emergency landing in Omsk where Navalny was rushed to hospital. The hospital in Omsk where Navalny was initially treated had dismissed the possibility of poisoning.

The Russian opposition leader remains in a serious condition at the Charite hospital in Berlin as of Thursday.