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Kremlin clarifies Putin’s comments on Navalny swap

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Kremlin clarifies Putin’s comments on Navalny swap

There were no talks between Russia and the West about replacing the opposition leader before his death, spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin did not say that negotiations were underway with the West to exchange Alexei Navalny before the opposition leader’s death in a penal colony last month, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday.

Speaking to supporters after the preliminary results of Russia’s presidential election were announced on Sunday, Putin revealed that days before Navalny died, a proposal had been made to exchange him for Russian prisoners held by the US and its allies.

The idea came from “Some of my colleagues… not members of the administration,” emphasized Putin. “The person who was talking to me didn’t even finish his sentence. I said ‘I agree.’ But what’s done is done,” he added, saying that his only condition was that Navalny not return to Russia.

When asked to comment on Putin’s remarks, Peskov said only the president “He said that one person presented an idea to replace Navalny, which he potentially agreed to and immediately told the person who presented such an idea.”


Putin reveals that Navalny was ready to be replaced

“Putin did not say that there were negotiations on this matter,” the spokesperson emphasized.

Peskov noted that the president refrained from naming the person who came up with the idea of ​​the exchange or any other details related to it. “Accordingly, I can’t even do this,” the spokesman added.

The Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), an NGO formerly led by Navalny, previously claimed that the opposition leader was to be replaced by Vadim Krasikov, a Russian citizen convicted of murdering a former Chechen militant commander in Germany in 2021. Talks on the issue were “in the final stage,” according to the NGO.

Maria Pevchikh, the current head of FBK, suggested that Navalny was “kill” to avoid confusion. Moscow has rejected the accusations and called for patience until the official investigation into his death is completed.

Navalny, who was serving a long sentence for violating the terms of a previous sentence for fraud and “extremist activities”, died in a penal colony in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Region on February 16.

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Prison authorities said the 47-year-old man suddenly fell ill after a walk and collapsed, with efforts to resuscitate him failing. According to FBK, the death certificate provided to Navalny’s mother stated that he died of natural causes.

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