MOSCOW, January 18. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov thinks that the Navalny incident acquired a foreign policy dimension artificially.
"The Navalny case acquired a foreign policy tone artificially, I would say, and completely unlawfully," he commented on Monday during a press conference on the outcomes of Russian diplomacy in 2020.
When asked about Russia’s image after the detention of opposition figure Alexey Navalny on his return to the country, Lavrov noted: "First and foremost, we must do our job, and our job is to implement Russian foreign policy."
The foreign minister recalled that the blogger’s detention is within the purview of law enforcement. "It’s about adhering to Russian laws," he explained. "If some other states believe that adhering to their own laws is less important than achieving some geopolitical goals, it’s their problem." Lavrov remembered Navalny’s statements, in which he claims that he was "practically kicked out" of Russia. However, the minister noted that it was Navalny’s wife and the German government who insisted on his transportation to Germany.
Lavrov noted that the West had refused to hand over Navalny’s test results to Moscow under various pretexts. According to him, the poisoning agent was found in a German clinic, and those materials were not handed over to Russia in order to avoid disclosing certain technologies. However, after the Skripal incident, Western states swore that they do not have the technology to detect such toxic agents. Later, Berlin stated that it had handed over all the data to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which in turn refused to hand over the data to Moscow, as Berlin is the owner of the said data. "I think this is simply a sham," Lavrov stated, noting that the West "privatized the OPCW a long time ago."
"After we were ping-ponged by Berlin to The Hague and then back around, we were told that there is another reason: Navalny himself does not want this data to reach Russia," he concluded.