Comment by the Information and Press Department of the Russian MFA on Navalny’s situation

Submitted on Wed, 09/30/2020 - 15:20

We have noted the nervous comments by a number of leaders and government representatives of some Western countries as regards the situation that was created with their direct participation around the groundlessly alleged “poisoning” of Russian blogger Alexey Navalny. We cannot help but be surprised at the repeated demands that Russia needs to “clear up” this scandalous case.

We have given repeated and detailed explanations of our position on this issue, including explanations in connection with three requests from the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office for legal assistance to the Russian side in determining the presence of evidence of a possible crime. Under Russian law this is an obligatory requirement to open a criminal case. Berlin has not responded to a single request so far except to say that they continue to review them. They have suggested, several times, that we address the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for an explanation. In turn, its directors tell us to address the German Government.

Not only do our inquiries for Berlin remain unanswered, but there has been no response to the inquiries of the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office in the context of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which have been addressed to the authorities in Sweden and France. In violation of the universally recognised rules of criminal procedure, the Germans sent samples for testing in their laboratories.

In this situation violations were also made by the OPCW Technical Secretariat that made public the fact of rendering technical aid without our direct consent.

Let’s recall that as is clear from Berlin’s statements, this accident took place in Russia not Germany. But express consent is mandatory, as is stipulated in the OPCW Confidentiality Annex (item 2, c/ii).

Considering the political bias that the heads of the Technical Secretariat have demonstrated more than once, we have no doubt that the report that it is now being drafting on rendering “technical aid” at Germany’s request, will fix the presence of traces of the so-called Novichok agent in Navalny’s biological samples that were taken by the Technical Secretariat in the course of a covert operation that was carefully hidden from us by all of the participants.