President Vladimir Putin today rejected reports that Russia’s security services were behind the poisoning of Alexei Navalny, saying that if they were, the opposition leader would not be alive. Speaking to reporters at his annual end-of-year press conference Putin described the report as ‘the legalisation of materials from the American special services’, adding that the Kremlin critic ‘has their support’. The Russian leader said that if Navalny was supported by US special services, then Russia should of course tail him. ‘But this does not at all mean that it is necessary to poison him. Who needs him?’ Putin said.