German Chancellor Merkel petitions Putin to free Russian critic Navalny

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to release Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny in her last official visit to Moscow before stepping down.

Merkel’s petition comes one year after Navalny was poisoned with a military nerve agent in Siberia.

She joins a growing list of leaders who have blamed – and condemned – Moscow for the attack.

President Putin, however, has denied Navalny was jailed political activities, saying he is being punished for breaking the law.