G7: Navalny attack is another blow to democracy in Russia

Russia – Situation of Alexei Navalny – Statement by the G7 foreign ministers¹

Paris, 8 September 2020

We, the G7 foreign ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States of America and the High Representative of the European Union, are united in condemning, in the strongest possible terms, the confirmed poisoning of Alexei Navalny.

Germany has briefed G7 partners on the fact that clinical and toxicological findings by German medical experts and a specialized laboratory of the German armed forces have determined that Mr Navalny is the victim of an attack with a chemical nerve-agent of the “Novichok” group, a substance developed by Russia. Mr Navalny is in intensive care in a Berlin hospital and remains in a serious condition. Our heartfelt thoughts are with his family and we hope for his full and speedy recovery.

Any use of chemical weapons, anywhere, anytime, by anybody, under any circumstances whatsoever, is unacceptable and contravenes the international norms prohibiting the use of such weapons. We, the G7 foreign ministers, call on Russia to urgently and fully establish transparency on who is responsible for this abhorrent poisoning attack and, bearing in mind Russia’s commitments under the Chemical Weapons Convention, to bring the perpetrators to justice.

This attack against opposition leader Navalny is another grave blow against democracy and political plurality in Russia. It constitutes a serious threat to those men and women engaged in defending the political and civil freedoms that Russia herself has committed to guarantee. We call on Russia to fulfil its commitments under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and to guarantee these rights, including the right to freedom of expression, to its citizens.

We will continue to monitor closely how Russia responds to international calls for an explanation of the hideous poisoning of Mr Navalny. We remain strongly committed to our support for democracy, the rule of law and human rights in Russia and to bolster our support to the Russian civil society./.

¹ Source of English text: European External Action Service.

Russia – Situation of Alexei Navalny – Joint communiqué issued by the foreign ministers of France and Germany

Paris/Berlin, 4 September 2020

Jean Yves Le Drian and Heiko Maas discussed today the poisoning of Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny, who is currently receiving medical care in Germany, with toxic chemical agents.

They are both appalled by this attack on Mr Navalny, which constitutes a most serious blow to the basic principles of democracy and political pluralism. They note that this attack on the physical integrity of a Russian opposition figure was sadly not an isolated incident. They express in this context their expectation that the Russian authorities will guarantee the conditions for the exercise of fundamental civil and political rights by the Russian people.

They reiterate and reaffirm the fact that the use of chemical weapons, anywhere, anytime, by anybody, under any circumstances whatsoever, is unacceptable and contravenes the international norms prohibiting the use of such weapons. This new incident involving a Novichok nerve agent is profoundly shocking.

The two Ministers reaffirm their full support for the absolute prohibition of the use of chemical weapons, the tenet underlying the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), whose states parties are obliged to ensure its full and complete implementation on their national territory. Together with their partners they will coordinate with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to consider the implications of this event and, if need be, will seek the support of this organization.

It is, as a first step, essential that Russia, on whose territory this new violation of international law took place, urgently clarifies in full the facts and responsibilities behind this assassination attempt on a member of the Russian political opposition using a military-grade nerve agent that belongs to a group of agents developed by Russia.

Those responsible for this odious act must be identified and brought to justice. The two ministers recall their engagement in the International Partnership against Impunity for the Use of Chemical Weapons, under the auspices of which they will work on joint initiatives.

The Governments of Germany and France again convey to Mr Navalny and his loved ones their sympathy and support and their wishes for a speedy recovery./.

Published on 09/09/2020

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