UK, France, Germany plan sanctions against Russia for Navalny poisoning

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Navalny, a fierce Kremlin critic, fell seriously ill on a flight from the Siberian city of Tomsk to Moscow on August 20. He was treated at the Charité hospital in Berlin and was released at the end of September.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons confirmed on Tuesday that blood and urine samples taken from Navalny showed the presence of Novichok, a group of Soviet-era nerve agents. A Novichok agent was also used in a March 2018 attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in the English town of Salisbury.

The foreign ministers of France and Germany issued a joint statement on Wednesday declaring that they are submitting a proposal to European partners targeting “those held responsible for this crime and for violating international standards”, including Russian officials and entities involved in the country’s Novichok chemical weaponry. program.

“An attempted murder was made on Russian soil against a Russian opposition figure, using a military grade nerve agent developed by Russia,” the statement said.

“We believe there is no credible explanation for the poisoning of Mr. Navalny other than the involvement and responsibility of Russia,” the duo said in a statement.British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has said Britain will work with its international partners to push these sanctions forward. “The United Kingdom stands alongside our German and French partners in our response to the heinous poisoning of Alexey Navalny,” he said in a statement Wednesday evening.

“Despite a clear case to respond to, Russian authorities continue to make no credible attempt to investigate this attack. There is no plausible explanation for the poisoning of Mr. Navalny other than Russia’s involvement and responsibility in this appalling attack. ”

The Kremlin has firmly denied any involvement in the poisoning of Navalny and offered to cooperate with Germany in an investigation into the matter, according to the state news agency TASS.

TASS previously reported that Russia had “eliminated” all war agents, including Novichok, citing Sergei Naryshkin, the director of the Foreign Intelligence Service. ” [Warfare agents] have been disposed of in accordance with OPCW rules and procedures which have been properly documented. Any speculation that Russia is still producing or keeping in stock the old supply of chemical warfare agents is of course misinformation, ”Naryshkin reportedly said.

Asked Tuesday about the OPCW’s findings, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters: “we don’t have the information yet.”

Journalists Gaëlle Fournier in Paris and Nadine Schmidt in Berlin contributed to this report.

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