U.S. President Donald Trump first commented on the conclusions of the German side about Alexey Navalny's poisoning with a nerve agent of the "Novichok" group.
He called the incident a tragedy and stated that he didn't see any reasons to doubt the conclusions of the German government and German doctors, though he hasn't seen any proof of poisoning personally yet.
вЂњNo, I have no doubts. I heard that Germany's conclusions were final or almost final, but we haven't seen them yet,вЂќ Trump said at the White House briefing. According to him, the USA expects to receive вЂњmany documentsвЂќ in this case in the nearest days and to study the situation вЂњvery seriouslyвЂќ.
вЂњI don't know exactly what happened. I think it's a tragedy, it's terrible, it shouldn't happen,вЂќ the U.S. president said, promising to study all the documents on the case as soon as they come in. He added that he would 'be very angry' if Russia's involvement in the poisoning of an opposition activist was confirmed.
At the same time, Trump, answering the first question about Navalny's poisoning, moved away from the topic, and suddenly began to talk about his success in North Korea's nuclear deterrence. He noted that the US is now discussing a nuclear disarmament treaty with Russia, and stressed that he considers this to be the most important topic, unlike those who are more concerned with the global warming problem.
Trump also rebuked journalists for constantly asking questions about Russia rather than, for example, about China, whose actions the American president called вЂњmuch more horribleвЂќ. Answering a second question about Navalny, he stressed that the U.S. is as strict with Russia as any other state, and again switched to China, accusing it of spreading the Chinese virus' around the world.
He then criticized the administration of his predecessor, Barack Obama, who, according to Trump, showed weakness in relations with Russia and allowed it to annex the Crimea. Trump is convinced that Russia would not allow this to happen under him.
On the eve, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Bergan said he was 'seriously concerned' about Berlin's claim that Navalny had been poisoned by the Novichok group. At a meeting with Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov in Washington, D.C., Bergan said that Moscow's use of these chemical weapons would be a clear violation of its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention. Bigan also called on Russia to cooperate fully with the international community in investigating this attack.
According to government sources Der Spiegel, specialists from the Munich Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology of the Bundeswehr had a hard time finding traces of the вЂњBeginnerвЂќ in Navalny's blood, urine, and skin, as well as the bottle he had with him on the plane. According to scientists, Navalny drank from it after he was poisoned.
Russian authorities refuse to consider what happened to Navalny as poisoning, arguing that the German side did not provide Russia with evidence. The head of the Interior Ministry Vladimir Kolokoltsev said he didn't see any crime in what had happened to the opposition activist: вЂњWhere would he be from? We don't see any grounds yetвЂќ.