Denmark Supports EU Sanctions Against Moscow Over Navalny Poisoning
By RFE/RL October 09, 2020
Denmark says it will join European Union (EU) sanctions to be imposed against Russia over the poisoning of opposition politician Aleksei Navalny with a chemical agent from the Soviet-style Novichok group.
Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod told journalists in Moscow on October 9 that his country "strongly condemns the attempt on the life of Aleksei Navalny by means of [a] chemical agent, which happened in Russia."
Kofod emphasized after talks with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that the poisoning of Navalny has been independently confirmed by labs in Germany, Sweden, and France, as well as by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)
"We demand that a transparent, comprehensive, and thorough investigation be conducted to find out who has tried to kill Aleksei Navalny, so that no one goes unpunished," Kofod added.
Lavrov, however, rejected Kofod's comments, reiterating Moscow's stance that the Kremlin had nothing to do with the incident and that Russia had not received any proof from Germany, where Navalny was flown after falling deathly ill in Siberia, that the 44-year-old was poisoned.
"We've heard declarations, threats, and warnings that sanctions would be imposed, and the persons who would be exposed to these punishments for the poisoning of Aleksei Navalny have been named. We are no longer surprised that the European Union is acting without due process of law," Lavrov said.
Outspoken Kremlin critic Navalny collapsed aboard a flight from Siberia to Moscow on August 20 and spent nearly three weeks in an induced coma.
After 48 hours in a hospital in Omsk, where Russian doctors said they found no trace of any poisoning, Navalny was transferred to the Charite hospital in Berlin, Germany.
Doctors there found traces of a Novichok-like nerve agent in his body.
After being discharged from the hospital, Navalny said he believed Russian President Vladimir Putin was behind his poisoning, sparking an angry reaction from Russian officials.
The Kremlin has accused Western leaders of launching a disinformation campaign over Navalny's illness.
With reporting by Interfax and RIA Novosti
Copyright (c) 2020. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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