Russian Foreign Ministry Points to Lack of Facts Behind Navalny Poisoning Allegation

MOSCOW, September 2- Germany’s allegation that Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny was poisoned with a nerve agent came with no evidence, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday, pointing out that Berlin first addressed the issue with the European Union and NATO rather than Russia. The Russian Foreign Ministry said…

MOSCOW, September 2 (Sputnik) – Germany’s allegation that Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny was poisoned with a nerve agent came with no evidence, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday, pointing out that Berlin first addressed the issue with the European Union and NATO rather than Russia.

Earlier in the day, the government of Germany, where Navalny was transported for treatment from an acute health condition, said that tests found traces of a nerve agent from the Novichok group in his system. The Russian Foreign Ministry said Russian prosecutors never received an official notification on the findings from Germany despite requesting them.

“It appears to me that we are returning to the times — which I would frankly prefer to leave behind already — of unsubstantiated statements and lack of facts in the discussion of serious issues. I wish these times never come back, but I cannot help a strong feeling of deja vu,” Zakharova told Russia’s Rossiya 1 broadcaster.

The spokeswoman expressed perplexity as to why would Berlin first address the matter with third parties such as Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) rather than addressing them with Russia right away.

“As far as we understand, the main addressees of today’s statements were the EU and NATO, and for some reason the OPCW was also mentioned. This was instead of doing what should have been done in the first place, namely, to respond to the request of the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office. Once again, I want to emphasize that this request remained unanswered, on a par with two other requests sent by Russian doctors to their German colleagues,” Zakharova said.

If Berlin’s goal is a genuine investigation, like it is for Russia, the case should be reviewed in the legal framework as both “the political will and legal tools” are there to give it a go, according to the spokeswoman.

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