Putin denies involvement in poisoning of Kremlin foe Navalny

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin has rejected allegations that the Kremlin was behind the poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Putin also accused U.S. intelligence agencies of fomenting the claims. He was speaking via video hookup during his annual marathon news conference. Putin countered the accusations by saying that if the Kremlin wanted to poison Navalny, it would have succeeded. Navalny fell sick Aug. 20 during a domestic flight in Russia, and was flown in a coma to Germany for treatment two days later. Labs in Germany, France and Sweden, and tests by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, established that he was exposed to a Soviet-era Novichok nerve agent.