Russia slams EU for 'acting as judge, jury' in Navalny case
Iran Press TV
Friday, 09 October 2020 2:42 PM
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has slammed the European Union (EU) for "acting as judge and jury" in the case of Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny, who is alleged to have been poisoned.
Speaking at a press conference with his Danish counterpart in Moscow on Friday, Lavrov said the EU had failed to provide Moscow with vital information that would allow it to investigate the allegations that Navalny was poisoned.
He said Germany's failure to share that information with Russia constituted a breach of its international obligations.
Russia's top diplomat said that relations between Moscow and Brussels were rapidly deteriorating over the case.
He made the remarks in response to a question about possible EU sanctions against Moscow in relation to the allegations of poisoning.
Navalny, 44, collapsed during a domestic Russian flight on August 20 and was taken to a local hospital before being airlifted to Germany on August 22. Navalny's aides claimed he had been poisoned after drinking a bottle of water at a hotel before the flight.
On September 2, Germany said the Russian opposition figure had been poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent. But the Russian doctors who tested his blood for poisoning before he was moved to Germany said the tests were negative.
Western governments have been attacking Russia with accusations that it poisoned Navalny, saying Moscow must help investigate the case or face consequences.
Russian prosecutors have asked Germany to provide Navalny's medical records for a comparative study of his condition, but Germany has refused to produce that information.
The Russian government has denied any involvement in any attack on Navalny, who was discharged from Charite Hospital in Berlin more than two weeks ago.
In a joint statement on Wednesday, Germany and France declared that they were submitting a proposal to European partners targeting individuals they deemed responsible for Navalny's alleged poisoning, as well as entities involved in Russia's Novichok program.
The joint statement came a day after the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) claimed the presence of a substance similar to Novichok in Navalny's blood, a move denounced by Moscow as the continuation of "pre-planned conspiracy."
OPCW experts had taken samples from Navalny in mid-September to examine whether traces of Novichok could be found in his blood. Moscow had said at the time that it had no doubt that the OPCW would confirm the allegations that Navalny was poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent, given the body's bias against Russia.
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