Pompeo: ‘US stands ready to assist’ with probe into Alexei Navalny poisoning

The United States and the UK are joining the EU in calling for an investigation into the suspected poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he’s “deeply concerned” about the incident and that the US is “ready to assist” an investigation into the matter.

“If these reports are proven accurate, we support the EU’s call for a comprehensive investigation,” Pompeo said in a tweet on Tuesday. “The U.S. stands ready to assist.”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson issued a similar statement, saying news of Navalny’s alleged poisoning “shocked the world.”

“The UK stands in solidarity with him & his family,” Johnson tweeted. “We need a full, transparent investigation into what happened. The perpetrators must be held accountable & the UK will join international efforts to ensure justice is done.”

The European Union’s foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell on Monday said the EU “strongly condemns what seems to be an attempt on Mr. Navalny’s life.”

“It is imperative that the Russian authorities initiate an independent and transparent investigation on the poisoning of Mr Navalny without delay.” he said in a statement. “The Russian people, as well as the international community, are demanding the facts behind Mr Navalny’s poisoning. Those responsible must be held to account.”

But the Kremlin slapped down the demand for an investigation — after doctors at a Berlin hospital said the 44-year-old dissident showed signs of “poisoning by a substance from the group of active substances called cholinesterase inhibitors.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the substance hadn’t been conclusively identified and that it was unclear why German doctors were “rushing” to label that case a poisoning.

Navalny, one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s fiercest critics, fell ill on a flight back to Moscow from Siberia last week and was taken to the Omsk hospital, where he was in a coma.

His aides believe that tea he drank at the airport was laced with poison — and blamed the Kremlin for his illness and the subsequent delay in transferring him to Germany for treatment.

Navalny remains in a medically induced coma in intensive care.


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