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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

EU condemns 'assassination attempt' on Putin critic Navalny

03.09.2020 08:00
The European Union condemned the apparent poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny and demanded a transparent probe into "the assassination attempt" after toxicological analysis by a specialized German laboratory found traces of a military-grade chemical nerve agent in his body.
Josep Borrell
Josep BorrellPhoto: PAP/EPA/FRANCOIS LENOIR

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday that Navalny, who is in intensive care in a Berlin hospital, had been poisoned with a Soviet-era Novichok nerve agent in an attempt to murder him.

In response to the news, the EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a statement that the "European Union condemns in the strongest possible terms the poisoning of the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.”

“The toxicological analysis carried out by a specialised laboratory of the German armed forces proves that Mr Navalny was poisoned by a military-grade chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group, developed by the Soviet Union and later, Russia,” according to the statement.

“The use of chemical weapons under any circumstances is completely unacceptable and a breach of international law,” Borrell said.

“It is essential that the Russian government investigates thoroughly and in a transparent manner the assassination attempt of Mr Navalny,” he added.

“Alexei Navalny’s case must not go unresolved. Those responsible must be brought to justice,” Borrell stated.

Navalny, a critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was flown to Germany for treatment after he collapsed on a flight from the Siberian city of Tomsk to Moscow two days earlier.

Navalny, a lawyer and anti-corruption activist, has been repeatedly detained in Russia in recent years and served several prison terms for leading anti-Kremlin protests.

Novichok is the same highly toxic substance that Britain said was used against former Russian intelligence agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in an attack in the southern English town of Salisbury in March 2018.

(gs)

Source: IAR, europa.eu