Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the situation around Alexei Navalny (the founder of the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), included by the Ministry of Justice in the register of organizations performing the functions of a foreign agent) with President of France Emmanuel Macron.
According to Putin, he made two suggestions to his French counterpart. During the telephone conversation that Putin and Macron had earlier, the two presidents discussed a possibility for Russian specialists to come to Europe to work together in laboratories to identify the poison in Navalny's samples.
"If they find at least something, I told him, a criminal case will be initiated the same second," Putin said.
The Russian president also offered Macron another option: to invite Western experts to study the samples in Russia, but the French leader refused, having said that Moscow was unwilling to cooperate.
Navalny became sick on August 20, 2020, as he was flying a domestic flight from Tomsk to Moscow. In the first two days, he received medical treatment at a hospital in Omsk, where doctors put him into a medically-induced coma.
On August 22, Navalny was sent to a clinic in Berlin. In early September, Germany said that military toxicologists had found traces of a substance from the Novichok group in Navalny's body and called on the Russian government to respond to this information. Russian doctors noted that they had not identified any poison in Navalny.
In late September of 2020, Macron called on Russia to explain the situation. According to him, the fact that Russia tried to use chemical weapons against Navalny was beyond doubt. At the same time, Western countries must act methodically, he added.