Press release on the sequence of events in the Alexey Navalny case
6 November 202011:00
The sequence of events in the story of the alleged poisoning of blogger Alexey Navalny is quite unusual; it is also symptomatic how it has become the target for never-ending speculations in the West.
On August 20, Alexey Navalny felt unwell and required emergency medical assistance. Thanks to the highly professional actions by the Russian crew of the regular Tomsk-Moscow flight, who performed an emergency landing to save one of its passengers, as well as by the ambulance personnel who quickly delivered the patient to Omsk City Hospital No. 1, the Russian blogger's life was no longer in danger. The patient remained in intensive care for almost two days; due to the ICU doctors' efforts, he was stabilised enough to be transferred to Germany for further treatment. This impeccable coherence of actions was not disrupted by reports of the alleged bomb threat at the Omsk airport that came from a server located â€“ what a strange coincidence â€“ in Germany. Incidentally, later, Navalny's inexplicable awareness of the false bomb threat as soon as he recovered consciousness looked equally strange, because the Russian authorities had not officially published this information by that time. The request of Navalny's family was granted â€“ despite the fact that the blogger was under criminal investigation and consequently prohibited from leaving the country. After several hours of intensive consultations between Russian and German doctors, once the special jet was prepared and its crew rested, on August 22, Navalny was flown to Germany.
Even as the blogger was still in hospital in Russia, anti-Russia hysteria was gaining momentum in the West. Demands were being made to immediately explain what happened to Navalny during his eccentric tour of Siberian cities in the company of a film crew. Immediately upon his arrival in Berlin, everyone, as if on cue, became riveted on the CharitÃ© clinic physicians. According to eyewitnesses, the patient was driven to the clinic with an escort of 14 cars, as a "guest" of the Federal Chancellor, as it turned out later. Just two days later, on August 24, CharitÃ© issued a news release stating that Navalny had been "poisoned" with a cholinesterase inhibitor substance. That was immediately followed by an appeal by Chancellor Angela Merkel and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas to identify and punish those responsible. The German officials had not even considered any regular medical reasons for his condition. And two days later, on August 26, the US Department of Commerce echoed its German NATO allies and announced new sanctions against a number of Russian research institutes for "developing chemical and biological weapons." This precipitated and peremptory decision-making looks odd at the very least. This suggests that these events had been planned and agreed on at the interstate level even before Alexey Navalny was brought from Omsk to Berlin.
From the CharitÃ© clinic, Navalny's biological samples were just as promptly delivered to a special military chemical laboratory of the Bundeswehr, and as soon as on September 2, they announced the Berlin patient's poisoning with a "chemical warfare agent from the Novichok group." Quite surprisingly, it took German military chemists only nine days to confirm that Navalny's samples contained the notorious Novichok traces, even though previously they claimed they had no idea about the structure of this warfare agent, and this when well-trained specialists need at least two weeks to perform the testing for this kind of elements. It appears that Germany has achieved a chemical-technological revolution in a rather complex field, binary synthesis of chemical substances, on a political request. The very next day, on September 3, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas made a statement about an attack with the use of a nerve gas and the European Union condemned the attack on Navalny and threatened more sanctions. That triggered a whole cascade of similar unsubstantiated statements from a number of European countries. They had not even considered at the official level any other, more credible reasons for what happened.
It is noteworthy that France and Sweden, whose military laboratories started analysing the biological samples they received from their German colleagues as early as on September 4, reported "breakthrough" achievements in the field of warfare chemicals immediately after Germany. The process took them no more than 10 days, and on September 14 they announced that the results of their studies were similar to those reached by German chemical experts, although barely one or two years before both claimed publicly that they did not have any expertise for the synthesis of Novichok.
Such synchronous activities and instant categorical decisions, which were obviously made without any attempt to look deeper into the matter, are truly astonishing. This can only mean that the Russian blogger's health is of secondary importance to them. What really matters to the West is finding a new reason for continuing their anti-Russia attacks.
In the meantime, the Prosecutor General's Office of Russia tried to establish communication with its German colleagues amid German media publications about the "deliberate poisoning" of Alexey Navalny. The first request formulated in accordance with the 1959 European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters was sent to Germany on August 27. It took the German authorities nine days to forward it to the Prosecutor's Office of Berlin, which acknowledged the receipt on September 11, or more than 14 days after we sent the letter.
On September 14, the Prosecutor General's Office of Russia sent a second request asking for information about the treatment methods used in the case of Navalny and requesting that Russian Interior Ministry officials be allowed to interview the blogger within the framework of the pre-investigation probe. It was only 10 days later, on September 25 that the German authorities forwarded the letter to the Department of Justice of the Federal State of Berlin.
On September 18, the Prosecutor General's Office of Russia sent requests for legal assistance to the concerned agencies of Sweden and France, whose military laboratories conducted the toxicology screening of the biological samples collected from Alexey Navalny.
On September 25, the Prosecutor General's Office of Russia sent a third letter to its German colleagues, followed by a letter on September 26 to the Federal Ministry of Justice of Germany to convey the request of the Interior Ministry of Russia for interviewing the blogger's spouse Yulia Navalnaya as well as Maria Pevchikh, a Russian citizen who accompanied Navalny on his trip and permanently resides in Great Britain.
On September 28, the Prosecutor General's Office of Russia sent a fourth letter to the Federal Ministry of Justice of Germany.
The document we received more than 2.5 months after sending the first request is wide open to criticism. The German prosecutor's office essentially refused to cooperate with its Russian colleagues because it does not have Navalny's permission for this.
Neither have the foreign ministries of Germany, France and Sweden responded to the Russian Foreign Ministry's requests for additional information in accordance with their obligations to provide legal assistance under Clause 2 of Article VII of the Chemical Weapons Convention. Similar requests have been sent to the management of the OPCW Technical Secretariat, whose experts had been involved since September 5 in what was actually a clandestine operation to collect biological samples from Alexey Navalny and to deliver the samples to two OPCW designated laboratories.
The proposals made by Russian members of parliament and doctors to work together with their German colleagues to clarify the circumstances of the case have been ignored as well.
In response to our numerous questions about the situation around Navalny, the OPCW directed us to Berlin, Paris and Stockholm, which duly said we should look for answers at the OPCW. It was only a month later, on October 6, that the Technical Secretariat announced that the results of analysis conducted by two OPCW designated laboratories "confirm that the biomarkers of the cholinesterase inhibitor found in Mr Navalny's blood and urine samples have similar structural characteristics as the toxic chemicals belonging to schedules 1.A.14 and 1.A.15 that were added to the Annex on Chemicals to the Convention during the Twenty-Fourth Session of the Conference of the States Parties in November 2019. This cholinesterase inhibitor is not listed in the Annex on Chemicals to the Convention."
On October 16, the OPCW circulated a report, with Berlin's permission, from which all chemical formulas had been removed to prevent the establishment of the biochemical causes of Navalny's "poisoning."
In other words, this is a Euro-Atlantic version of a cover-up, which involves the politically biased management of a once respected and independent organisation, the OPCW. Berlin and other European capitals obviously forget about international law when the issue concerns Russia and abandon mutually respectful dialogue in favour of megaphone diplomacy.
Therefore, any outside observer without any knowledge of applied chemistry and chemical non-proliferation can make a logical conclusion that all this is a badly orchestrated spectacle designed above all to justify yet another package of sanctions against Russia, which firmly stands up against the enforcement of any "rules" that can damage its national sovereignty, international law and even common sense.
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