MOSCOW, September 15./TASS/. The Russian and German foreign ministers, Sergey Lavrov and Heiko Maas, discussed interaction in the situation around Alexey Navalny in a phone call on Tuesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported, adding that Russia confirmed readiness to cooperate.
The diplomats focused "on the current state and prospects for Russian-German relations, as well as on building bilateral and international cooperation against the background of the situation around Navalny," the Foreign Ministry said. "The Russian side confirmed readiness for cooperation on that issue," it added.
The Russian side "reiterated that Moscow keeps waiting for reaction from the relevant German agencies to legal assistance requests from the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office of August 27 and September 14 sent, in line with the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, first of all as concerns the transfer of biomaterials, results of the tests, clinical tests and medical documents necessary for a thorough and comprehensive probe into the reasons behind the disease and hospitalization of Alexey Navalny, to which Western colleagues are so actively urging us publicly," the ministry said.
It emphasized that further evasion of the above inquiries "will be qualified as the absence of our partners’ will to contribute to the establishment of truth within the framework of an objective and comprehensive investigation of the incident".
"Lavrov called on his colleague to refrain from further politicization of the situation with Navalny," the ministry said.
"It was noted that we cannot be satisfied with references to ‘independence’ of justice agencies and the need to coordinate things with Alexey Navalny himself or his relatives and next-of-kin, which are used as obstacles to letting Russian specialists in criminal law and medics analyze German files on his illness and treatment, contrary to the above convention," the ministry stressed.
The involvement of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in the Navalny affair probe should not be an obstruction for cooperation between Russia and Germany via other legal assistance channels, the Russian foreign ministry said.
"As for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, where Germany refers Russia on this case, its involvement by the German side to clarify the situation should not be an obstruction to building bilateral cooperation both within this organization and via generally-recognized legal assistance channels under the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters of 1959 and protocols to it," the ministry said.
The foreign ministers agreed to continue dialogue on this and other issues on the Russian-German and international agenda.