MOSCOW — Imprisoned Russian pro-democracy opposition leader Alexei Navalny has marked the anniversary of a poisoning attack against him by urging global leaders to focus on combating corruption and focus on targeting tycoons close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In an article published in three European newspapers on Friday, Navalny chided Western leaders for relegating the fight against corruption to a "secondary agenda" item.
He said that graft plays an essential part in policy failures, including in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Navalny was sickened by a nerve agent poisoning on Aug. 20, 2020, in Russia. Shortly after the poisoning, Navalny was flown to Germany, where he spent five months in recovery.
Russian officials reject the accusation that the Kremlin was behind the poisoning. However, Navalny has leaked phone calls in which Russian agents admitted to administering the poison. The Kremlin maintains those calls were faked.
Upon his return to Germany in January, Navalny was arrested by Russian officials, who accused him of skipping probation check-ins from a 2014 arrest.
Navalny's arrest sparked massive protests across Russia and prompted the U.S. to levy sanctions against the country.