United State Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says there is a good chance that the suspected poisoning of Russian dissident Alexei Navalny living in Germany was ordered by the Moscow. Pompeo said the US is figuring out how it would respond to the incident. NATO and Germany in a singular tone say there is “proof beyond doubt” that the key Russian opposition figure was poisoned with a nerve agent known as Novichok.
While Pompeo was convinced, President Trump’s comments suggested otherwise as he refused to condemn Moscow citing doubts in the involvement of Moscow. Navalny was airlifted to Berlin from Russia after his health worsened during a flight from Siberia to Moscow in August. He was rescued after falling into an induced coma earlier this week with doctors at Berlin’s Charité hospital confirming he was responding to verbal stimuli but it was “too early to gauge the potential long-term effects of his server poisoning”.
Pompeo suggested the possibility in an interview with the Conservative US commentator Ben Shapiro who questioned if there would be any implications for the Moscow over attacking its domestic rivals. To this the former CIA Director said the US alongside its allies in EU had mad clear to Russia “our expectations that they will hold those responsible for this accountable. We will do our best to come to a conclusion about who was responsible too”.
“I think people all around the world will see this kind of activity for what it is,” he added. “And when they see the effort to poison a dissident, they recognize that there is substantial chance that this actually came from Russia”.
“The world has matured and come to an understanding that this is not how normal countries operate, and this will prove costly for the Russians,” added Secretary of State.
However, he stopped short of specifically elaborating how the US will respond saying, “I don’t want to get in front of the president”, but confirmed that Washington would play its part to “reduce the risk that things like this happen again.”
President Trump has given no indication of how the Unite States will respond to the poisoning, announcing on Saturday: “I don’t know exactly what happened. I think it’s tragic, it’s terrible, it shouldn’t happen. We have not had any proof yet but I will take a look.”
NATO has pressed on Russia to reveal its Novichok nerve agent program to international monitors. Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in a statement said the members of the block in a consensus condemned the horrific attack on the opposition leader Navalny.
Meanwhile, Russian foreign ministry summoned the German ambassador in Moscow on Wednesday to protest at what it called “unfounded accusations and ultimatums against Russia” and accused Berlin of using the Navalny case “as a pretext to discredit our country”.
Navalny a dissident and anti-corruption activist rose to prominence as a face of anti-Putin politics in Russia. His campaigners and supporters believe his tea cup was adulterated at Tomsk airport on Aug 20, 2020. He became ill while onboard and the had to make an emergency landing in Omsk so he could be run to a hospital. Russian officials were convinced to take the leader to Germany two days later.
The alleged nerve agent detected by the Germany was also applied on ex-spy and deserter Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, United Kingdom. Both father and sister survived the attack however, a local woman Dawn Sturgess who met them died after contacting the poison. Following the execution of the attack and after the attack, Britain’s blamed the Russian intelligence and senior officials in Moscow for ordering the attack. As much as 20 countries jointly responded the Russia by expelling over 100 Moscow diplomats and spies to demonstrate a concerted effort. Russia denied any charges.