Russia says Germany exploiting Navalny illness, demands medical data
By Alexander Marrow and Tom Balmforth MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia summoned Germany's ambassador on Wednesday to accuse Berlin of using the case of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny to discredit Moscow and demanded that Germany immediately hand over medical data about his illness. Navalny, an opponent of President Vladimir Putin, was airlifted to Berlin for treatment after falling ill in Russia.
By Alexander Marrow and Tom Balmforth
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia summoned Germany's ambassador on Wednesday to accuse Berlin of using the case of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny to discredit Moscow and demanded that Germany immediately hand over medical data about his illness.
Navalny, an opponent of President Vladimir Putin, was airlifted to Berlin for treatment after falling ill in Russia.
Germany says he was poisoned with a rare nerve agent, but Moscow says it has seen no solid evidence of that in a case prompting Western calls for new sanctions on Moscow.
"A strong protest was made to the ambassador in connection with Germany's unfounded accusations and ultimatums ... as well as Berlin's obvious use of the situation to discredit our country on the international stage," Russia's foreign ministry said.
Moscow, it added, told the German envoy that Russia expected a response to an Aug. 27 request for information including all medical data, biomaterials, examination results and test samples to be studied and verified.
German government vice-spokeswoman Martina Fietz said it had done everything necessary to help answer Russian requests and Navalny's case was now a matter for the judiciary.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier that Russia would need to see proper medical information indicating Navalny was poisoned before Moscow could open an investigation.
Navalny's lawyer told German television station SWR that Russia was actively preventing an investigation. Vyacheslav Grimaldi added that he would take the case to the European Court of Human Rights should legal avenues in Russia be exhausted.
The German ambassador to Moscow spent around two hours inside the foreign ministry before leaving without making any comments to reporters.
(Reporting by Alexander Marrow, Tom Balmforth, Vladimir Soldatkin and Maria Kiselyova; Additional reporting by Mikhail Antonov in Moscow and Thomas Seythal and Sabine Wollrab in Berlin; Editing by Timothy Heritage and Andrew Cawthorne)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.