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UK summons Russian ambassador over Kremlin-critic Navalny

LONDON (Reuters) - British foreign minister Dominic Raab summoned the Russian ambassador to the United Kingdom, Andrei Kelin, on Monday to express his concern at the suspected poisoning of Alexei Navalny.

Navalny, a prominent critic of President Vladimir Putin, was airlifted to Germany last month after collapsing on a flight from the Siberian city of Tomsk to Moscow. Germany has concluded he was poisoned with Novichok.

“Today the UK summoned Russia’s Ambassador to the UK to register deep concern about the poisoning of Alexey @navalny,” Raab said on Twitter.

“It’s completely unacceptable that a banned chemical weapon has been used and Russia must hold a full, transparent investigation.”

Raab added that he was relieved to hear Navalny had been taken out of his medically-induced coma.

Moscow says it has seen no evidence he was poisoned.

“The Russian side noted that unfounded accusations and politisation of the issue, which has a strictly medical and legal nature, are unacceptable,” the Russian embassy said in a statement.

“Furthermore, an interest in establishing all the facts related to this incident was expressed. Actions that Russia is taking in this regard were spelled out,” the embassy said.

In a separate statement, a foreign office spokesperson said: “There is a case here for Russia to answer. This took place on Russian soil, against a Russian citizen. They have international obligations to uphold.”

Reporting by William James; additional reporting by Andrey Ostroukh in Moscow; Editing by Andrew MacAskill and Angus MacSwan

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