U.S. President Donald Trump said he had not yet seen any direct evidence of Russian state involvement in the suspected poisoning of dissident Alexei Navalny, but had no reason to doubt the German assessment.
Trump, who said this while speaking during a news conference at the White House on Friday, however, described the suspected poisoning of Navalny as “horrible”.
German authorities say toxicology tests have revealed that Navalny, who is currently comatose in a Berlin hospital, has been poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok.
“Based on what Germany is saying that seems to be the case.
“I would be very angry if that’s the case,” Trump said.
Separately, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun met with Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov to express “grave concern about the German government’s findings that Russian opposition leader Aleksey Navalny was poisoned by a chemical nerve agent.”
At the meeting in Washington, Biegun urged Russia to cooperate with an international probe.
Trump said he expected to soon receive documentation on the case which would allow for the U.S. to make a determination.
He said he understood the desire to take action against Russia, but also insisted he “maintains” a good relationship with President Vladimir Putin.
The Russian state has adamantly denied allegations of involvement in the Navalny incident.
Trump also raised his long-standing disagreement with Germany over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, questioning Berlin’s decision to buy energy from Moscow.
The U.S. has imposed some sanctions on the pipeline project and more could come.
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