by Oleg Burunov
Moscow has repeatedly stressed that Germany lacks evidence to support its allegations that Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny was poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent from the Novichok group.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has pledged that Moscow will respond in kind to the EU’s sanctions against Moscow over the case of Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny.
“The Germans are not going to provide any facts, despite all their international legal obligations. We will answer in kind. Yes, this is diplomatic practice, but it is also a diplomatic response”, Lavrov pointed out on Wednesday.
The statement comes after the EU reportedly moved to slap sanctions on six officials and one organisation from Russia in connection with the Navalny case.
This followed the foreign ministers of Germany and France sending proposals to Brussels on the possible introduction of anti-Russian sanctions following Berlin’s allegations that Navalny was poisoned with a nerve agent from the Novichok group, claims that Moscow rejects.
The move followed Lavrov last week underlining that Germany is flouting its international obligations by failing to share the data on Navalny’s alleged poisoning with Russia. The top Russian diplomat lamented the lack of factual data in the Navalny case, which has led to the erosion of relations between Moscow and the EU.
“What is going to be discussed on Monday at the EU Council of Foreign Ministers — we hear announcements, threats, warnings that sanctions will be imposed. Some persons who will be punished for poisoning Alexei Navalny are already on the list. We are no longer surprised that the EU is acting without a trial. We are required to conduct an investigation, but no facts [on the poisoning] were provided to us, including by Germany”, Lavrov said after a meeting with Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod.
Navalny was transported to Germany after he fell ill on a flight from the Siberian city of Tomsk to Moscow on 20 August. Following his arrival in Berlin, the German government alleged that traces of a nerve agent from the Novichok group had been found in his system after tests were conducted.
Moscow stressed that Berlin lacks evidence to back up its allegations, noting that Russian doctors had found no toxic substances in the opposition figure’s body.
The Russian Foreign Ministry underscored that Moscow has taken a “transparent position” on the Navalny case from the very beginning, allowing for him to be transferred to Germany for treatment at the request of his relatives, with the doctors who saved his life in Omsk openly passing on all the data they collected about Navalny’s condition and expressing a willingness to continue cooperating.