The Scotsman

Pres­sure mounts on Rus­sia as Navalny out of his coma

- By SAM BLEWETT Corruption · European Politics · Politics · Crime · Russia · Alexey Navalny · United Kingdom · Moscow · Government of Russia · Foreign and Commonwealth Office · Dominic Raab · Vladimir Putin · Berlin

The UK gov­ern­ment has in­creased the pres­sure on Moscow to ex­plain the cir­cum­stances around the poi­son­ing of Krem­lin critic Alexei Navalny by sum­mon­ing the Rus­sian am­bas­sador to the UK to the For­eign Of­fice over the sus­pected No vic hok at­tack.

For­eign Sec­re­tary Do­minic Raab said Bri­tain was reg­is­ter­ing its “deep con­cern” about the al­leged use of the nerve agent by sum­mon­ing An­drei Kelin to speak to a se­nior of­fi­cial yes­ter­day and called on Rus­sia to carr y out a “full, trans­par­ent in­ves­ti­ga­tion”. Mr Raab has said it is “dif­fi­cult to come up with a plau­si­ble al­ter­na­tive” to Moscow be­ing be­hind the poi­son­ing of the vo­cal critic of Rus­sian pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin.

The diplo­mat’s sum­mon­ing came as Mr Navalny was brought out of a coma by doc­tors in Ber­lin, where the 44-year- old has been treated since fall­ing ill on a do­mes­tic flight in Rus­sia on 20 Au­gust.

Mr Raab tweeted: “To­day the UK sum­moned Rus­sia’ s Am­bas­sador to the UK to regis­ter deep con­cern about the poi­son­ing of Alexei @Navalny.

“It’s com­pletely un­ac­cept­able that a banned chem­i­cal weapon has been used and Rus­sia must hold a full, trans­par­ent in­ves­ti­ga­tion.” Rus­sia has de­nied the Krem­lin was in­volved in poi­son­ing Mr Navalny.

But there is in­creas­ing pres­sure for Mr Putin to ex­plain how his critic fell se­ri­ously ill, al­legedly with the same chem­i­cal weap - on used against Rus­sian for­mer dou­ble agent Sergei Skri­pal.

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