The Kremlin has dismissed Alexei Navalny's accusations Vladimir Putin was responsible for his apparent poisoning — by claiming the CIA was working to influence him.
"I'll put it this way, the patient is not working with western security services, but the other way round," spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Thursday, reports the Independent.
"We have information American intelligence services are working with him. It would not be the first time that he has been given instructions"
Peskov said the Kremlin considered the Putin critic's comments, given in an interview to Der Speigel, to be "without foundation, unacceptable and offensive."
"This rhetoric is offensive and designed to put him at the same level as first person of state," Mr Peskov said. "To suggest that the political battle is with him. But [Putin's] real opponents are different. They are not quasi or marginal opponents."