All news

Top German diplomat repeats sanctions threat over Navalny case

According to Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, Germany has always acted as a country which disseminated information on Navalny’s condition because he is getting treatment in Germany

BERLIN, October 7. /TASS/. The West continues to expect explanations from Russia in light of Alexey Navalny case, otherwise, there will be consequences and they will be discussed in the EU shortly, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told Bundestag Wednesday, commenting on the OPCW conclusions on the case.

"We are convinced that it cannot be left without consequences. In the coming days, we will agree a joint reaction together with EU and OPCW partners. It is clear that if details are not cleared up and the necessary information will not follow, targeted and commensurate sanctions will follow against those responsible on the Russian side," he said.

According to Maas, Germany has always acted as a country which disseminated information on Navalny’s condition because he is getting treatment in Germany. However, this is an issue of international significance. "We want to discuss the reaction in the EU framework because this is not a German-Russian bilateral conflict," the minister underlined.

The minister also said that the EU should maintain consolidation when discussing any potential response. This consolidation "is likely to be successfully preserved if a list of people will be quickly drafted" who can face restrictions.

The minister recalled that Russia had submitted four requests of legal assistance to Germany. Berlin would be ready to take the necessary steps, but the requests, according to him, are about Navalny’s "personal data." Therefore, it should be Navalny who agrees to share the data. Maas added that Navalny is Germany’s guests and Berlin is responsible for his security.

"We believe that Russia should be interested in investigating this crime," he added, noting that he had discussed this with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. Moreover, the German minister said that Moscow is "absurdly rebuking" Germany and the OPCW in this context.

Navalny case

Alexey Navalny was rushed to a local hospital in the Siberian city of Omsk on August 20 after collapsing on a Moscow-bound flight from Tomsk. He fell into a coma and was put on a ventilator in an intensive care unit. On August 22, he was airlifted to Berlin and admitted to the Charite hospital.

On September 2, Berlin claimed that having examined Navalny’s test samples, German government toxicologists had come to the conclusion that the blogger had been affected by a toxic agent belonging to the Novichok family.

On Tuesday, the OPCW confirmed that biomarkers of the cholinesterase inhibitor found in Navalny’s blood and urine samples have similar structural characteristics as the toxic chemicals added to the Chemical Weapons Convention’s Annex on Chemicals in November 2019. At the same time, this cholinesterase inhibitor is not listed in the Annex on Chemicals to the Convention

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia was ready for comprehensive cooperation with Germany. He pointed out that no poisonous substances had been detected in Navalny’s system prior to his transfer to Berlin.