(JustPatriots.com)- On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin denied reports that the Kremlin was responsible for the poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
Putin accused the United States intelligence agencies of pushing the false claims and said that he still hopes to establish better links with the United States.
That’s probably a tall order, given the news this week that several federal government agencies had been hacked by a Russian military hacking group known as “Cozy Bear,” affecting even the agency responsible for overseeing the nation’s stockpile of nuclear weapons.
Putin also said during a video conference during his annual news conference, which lasted more than 4.5 hours, that he hopes an incoming Joe Biden administration would extend the final remaining U.S-Russia arms control pact.
British newspaper The Times alleged recently that the Russian government tried to assassinate Navalny for a second time after he was allegedly given a second dose of poison before he was flown out to Berlin to receive treatment for the first poisoning.
It is understood that he was poisoned with Novichok, a nerve agent that was used to poison former Russian military officer and UK double agent Sergei Skripal in March 2018, and his daughter, Yulia Skripal, in 2018.
Putin laughed during the press conference, implying that if his government wanted to murder his political opponent, they would have succeeded.
“If there was such a desire, it would have been done,” he said.
Navalny first became sick on August 20 during an internal Russian flight. After being flown to Berlin for treatment, laboratories in Sweden, France, and Germany all confirmed that he was exposed to Novichok, which was commonly used in Russia as a nerve agent during the Soviet era.
On Monday, Russian media outlet “The Insider” claimed that operatives from Russia’s domestic security agency the FSB had been following Nalvany throughout 2017, and had “specialized training in chemical weapons, chemistry and medicine.” Russian agents were also close to Navalny in the hours that he was understood to have been poisoned.
Can the United States ever fully normalize relations with Russia when things like this keep happening?