The G7 foreign ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States of America and the High Representative of the European Union have called on Russia to establish those responsible for the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
"We, the G7 foreign ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States of America and the High Representative of the European Union, are united in condemning, in the strongest possible terms, the confirmed poisoning of Alexei Navalny," according to a statement published by the U.S. Department of State on September 8.
Read alsoNavalny poisoning: OPCW Director-General issues statementIt is noted Germany has briefed G7 partners on the fact that clinical and toxicological findings by German medical experts and a specialized laboratory of the German armed forces have determined that Navalny is the victim of an attack with a chemical nerve-agent of the "Novichok" group, a substance developed by Russia.
"Any use of chemical weapons, anywhere, anytime, by anybody, under any circumstances whatsoever, is unacceptable and contravenes the international norms prohibiting the use of such weapons. We, the G7 foreign ministers, call on Russia to urgently and fully establish transparency on who is responsible for this abhorrent poisoning attack and, bearing in mind Russia's commitments under the Chemical Weapons Convention, to bring the perpetrators to justice," reads the statement.
According to the diplomats, this attack against opposition leader Navalny is another grave blow against democracy and political plurality in Russia.
"We will continue to monitor closely how Russia responds to international calls for an explanation of the hideous poisoning of Mr. Navalny. We remain strongly committed to our support for democracy, the rule of law and human rights in Russia and to bolster our support to the Russian civil society," the report says.
Navalny poisoning: background
- Russian opposition's Alexei Navalny felt sick on board the plane he was flying to the city of Tomsk on August 20. His rapidly deteriorating condition forced the captain to perform an emergency landing in Omsk.
- Navalny's press secretary assumed the politician's tea had been laced with poison.
- Navalny was evacuated from Omsk to Germany on an ambulance aircraft for further medical treatment on Saturday, August 22.
- Experts with the Bundeswehr laboratory found in Navalny's body traces of poison from the novichok group. In this regard, Berlin called on Moscow to explain the circumstances of the poisoning of the Russian opposition figure.
- German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that the refusal to probe the incident could lead to a revision of Berlin's stance on the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.