Already strained EU relations with Russia potentially reached a new low over the great novichok poisoning of Alexey Navalny hoax.
On Tuesday, Russia’s EU mission challenged the bloc’s fake news about what happened to him, saying the following:
“In recent weeks, we have been witnessing a rapidly growing information campaign in the EU — both in official circles and media — over an incident which occurred with a Russian political activist and blogger Alexey Navalny on 20 August 2020,” adding:
“Not claiming to be experts in toxicology, we still consider it necessary to draw your attention to multiple inconsistencies regarding this case.”
“In the light of forthcoming debate in the European Parliament, we call on EU officials and MEPs to look into a number of following questions.”
“Would there be any rationale behind the Russian authorities’ alleged decision to poison Alexey Navalny with the use of a military-grade chemical nerve agent of the ‘novichok’ group, which falls under CWC ban, in a Russian city with half a million population and then to do their utmost to save his life and let him go for further medical treatment to Germany, where ‘ovichok’ could (allegedly) be identified?”
“What would be the reason for the Russian authorities to poison Alexey Navalny, taking into account that his actual popularity level hardly reaches 2%, according to the recent survey conducted in July 2020 by Levada Centre, an independent nongovernmental polling and sociological research organization?”
On the same day, Russian Foreign Intelligence Service head Sergei Naryshkin said the following:
Russian “medics at the Omsk hospital, who saved Alexei Navalny’s life, conducted a deep complex of examinations in a short time span, including examinations for presence of toxic and…poisonous substances.”
“These examinations were performed using the newest equipment and in compliance with the strictest medical protocols.”
Their comprehensive tests found no toxins of any kind in his blood, urine, liver, or elsewhere in his system — no traces of novichok or other nerve agent poisoning that would have killed him before boarding a flight from Tomsk, Russia to Moscow.
Naryshkin stressed that
“(w)e have a lot of questions to the German side, and the Prosecutor General’s Office requested aid in the investigation twice, but there is still no response” — suggesting a cover-up by Berlin.
Russian lower house State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin called the Navalny incident an anti-Kremlin US-led Western provocation aimed at hampering Russian development by wanting construction of its Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany halted.
Russian State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Leonid Slutsky said (unlawful) Western sanctions imposed on the country and/or its officials over the Navalny incident will amount to “dirty political scheming.”
He stressed that in 2017, the OPCW confirmed the entire elimination of Russia’s chemical weapons.
On October 11, 2017 in the Hague, Netherlands, during the organizatioin’s 86th Executive Council session, a ceremony was held to mark Russia’s achievement.
A statement by OPCW director general Ahmet Uzumcu “acknowledged the remarkable achievement by the Russian Federation and presented a memorable certificate to Deputy Minister Kalamanov marking the full destruction of the 39,967 metric tons of Russian chemical weapons.”
Separately on September 27, 2017, Uzumcu said the following:
“The completion of the verified destruction of Russia’s chemical weapons programme is a major milestone in the achievement of the goals of the Chemical Weapons Convention.”
“I congratulate Russia and I commend all of their experts who were involved for their professionalism and dedication.”
On Tuesday, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell falsely accused Russia of poisoning Navalny despite no evidence suggesting it, adding:
The Navalny incident “will have an impact on European Union-Russia relations,” an issue to be “discuss(ed) in the next Foreign Affairs Council” meeting.
At a European parliament plenary session, Borrell defied reality by claiming “irrefutable evidence that a nerve agent of the novichok group…was used to try to assassinate Mr Navalny (sic),” adding:
“I hope that what has happened to Mr Navalny will represent an encouragement for member states to…approv(e) (a) human rights sanctions regime…”
“(W)e could call it the ‘Navalny sanctions regime” — a way to continue unjustifiably bash Russia to undermine normalized relations with the EU.
On issues relating to Nord Stream 2, Borrell said it’s for nations involved in its construction to handle, not Brussels.
Will the Navalny novichok poisoning hoax undermine the nearly completed Russian gas pipeline to Germany, along with Kremlin/EU relations?
Will Berlin and other Western capitals shoot themselves in the foot to benefit imperial USA?
A Final Comment
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spoke to his German counterpart Heiko Mass on Tuesday.
According to a ministry press release they “focused on the state of and prospects for Russian-German relations, and the development of bilateral and international cooperation against the backdrop of the Alexey Navalny case,” adding:
Lavrov stressed that Moscow is willing to cooperate with Berlin on this issue.
It’s waiting for relevant German bodies to provide information requested by “the Russian Prosecutor’s Office on August 27 and September 14” so far not sent.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry explained that Moscow’s request is “in accordance with the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters of April 20, 1959 and the additional protocols to it of March 17, 1978 and November 8, 2001,” adding:
“This legal agreement implies the transfer of the bio materials, test results, clinical analyses and medical documents required for a meticulous, comprehensive investigation into the reasons for Navalny’s illness and hospitalization, which (Western countries are) actively urging us to conduct in public.”
If Germany continues to stonewall Russia, it will clearly show “a lack of desire to establish the truth following an objective and comprehensive investigation into the incident.”
Lavrov called on his German counterpart Heiko Mass “to stop any further politicizing of the Navalny case,” adding:
Moscow rejects unacceptable claims about “the independence” of judicial bodies and need to request approval by Navalny and his family to release information Germany has about his medical condition.
This runs counter to the above-mentioned convention, said Lavrov.
As for involvement of the OPCW, it’s unrelated to Russia’s request for Germany to provide relevant information on Navalny.
While bilateral differences weren’t resolved on Tuesday, both ministers agreed to continue dialogue on the Navalny and other international issues.
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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.