Comment by Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on the latest statement by the German Foreign Minister on the Navalny case

Submitted on Fri, 09/18/2020 - 11:43

We have taken note of the latest statement made by Federal Foreign Minister of Germany Heiko Maas during a joint news conference with Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein, held in Berlin on September 14, that Russia should contact the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to request documents and medical information about the case of Alexey Navalny, whose tests, according to German military doctors, show traces of a chemical warfare agent.

We regard this position of Germany as a pretext indicating its reluctance to establish the truth in the case of Alexey Navalny.

We would like to point out in this connection that we have not received a clear response from the German side to our request for complete information, including the results of medical tests, biomaterials and other clinical samples, which was submitted by the Prosecutor General’s Office of Russia to the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection of Germany on August 27, 2020, within the framework of bilateral cooperation, which has been smoothly running, until recently, in accordance with the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters of April 20, 1959.

We regard this as Berlin’s failure to honour its official promises to provide the requested information in response to the abovementioned inquiry. However, our German partners later made an about-face, citing the independence of the judiciary and the need to coordinate the matter with the patient’s relatives.

We need the samples we requested so as to complete the pre-investigation probe the Russian law enforcement agencies are conducting into the illness and hospitalisation of Alexey Navalny, which has been extended until September 20. Under Russian law, a pre-investigation probe is a necessary precondition for initiating criminal proceedings in this case, because no evidence of poisoning was found by doctors during the patient’s examination in Omsk on August 21 and 22.

We would also like to state once again that on September 14, the Prosecutor General’s Office of Russia sent an additional request to the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection of Germany for legal assistance in acquiring information about Alexey Navalny’s treatment and tests made in Germany.

We insist that our request be granted.