By The SATimes News Service
Moscow: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov urged his German counterpart Heiko Maas to abandon further politicization of the suspected poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, the Russian Foreign Ministry said after a phone conversation between the ministers.
The focus of the phone conversation was on the state and prospects of Russian-German relations, as well as building bilateral and international cooperation amid the situation around Navalny, the ministry said in a statement, Xinhua news agency reported.
“Lavrov called on his colleague to refrain from further politicization of the situation with Navalny,” it said.
The Russian side confirmed its readiness for cooperation on the Navalny case, it added.
The leading opponent of President Vladimir Putin, fell violently sick while campaigning on Aug 20 and was airlifted to Berlin.
Germany said lab tests in three countries have determined he was poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent, and Western governments have demanded an explanation from Russia.
Moscow called the accusations groundless.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has faced calls to punish Russia by suspending work on Nord Stream 2, a nearly completed pipeline bringing gas from Russia to Germany.
The New York Times quoted a German security official as saying Navalny had spoken to a German prosecutor about the incident and said he planned to return to Russia as soon as he recovered.