Updated Aug 25, 2020 - World

U.S. says Russia must investigate poisoning of Putin critic Alexei Navalny

Alexei Navalny.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Photo: Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan said Tuesday that Russia must conduct an "immediate, comprehensive, and transparent investigation" on the apparent poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo later issued a statement saying he is "deeply concerned" and supports calls for a "comprehensive investigation."

Why it matters: Sullivan's statement was the first from a top American official demanding that Russia take action since Navalny was first admitted to a hospital last week.

  • Navalny became seriously ill shortly after boarding a flight last Thursday to Moscow from Siberia, where he met with opposition politicians.
  • After authorities initially refused to allow him to travel abroad for treatment, Navalny was flown to Germany.

What he's saying: "German medical experts now say clinical findings indicate that Russian opposition activist [Alexei] Navalny was poisoned in Russia last week," Sullivan said in a statement tweeted by embassy spokesperson Rebecca Ross.

  • "This new information on Navalny necessitates an immediate, comprehensive, and transparent investigation by the Russian authorities that holds the parties behind this act responsible."
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