National Post (Latest Edition)

Poisoned rival now accused of working with Cia


The Kremlin accused opposition politician Alexei Navalny on Thursday of working with the CIA, after Navalny said he believed President Vladimir Putin was behind the suspected poisoning that put him in a coma in Germany.

The accusation from Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov appears to be the first time the Russian authoritie­s have directly accused Putin’s highest-profile critic of working with a foreign intelligen­ce agency.

It raises the stakes should Navalny fulfil a pledge to return to Russia, and may add to pressure on Western leaders, especially German Chancellor Angela Merkel, to take action over his case.

Navalny, 44, emerged in recent weeks from a coma after suddenly falling ill in during a flight in Siberia and being flown to Berlin for treatment. German doctors say he was poisoned with novichok, a rare Russian nerve agent.

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