Official speeches and statements – October 7, 2020

Source: France-Diplomatie – Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development

Published on October 7, 2020

1. Russia – Joint statement by the foreign ministers of France and Germany (Paris,2020-10-07)

France and Germany reiterate their strong condemnation of the poisoning of Mr Alexei Navalny on Russian territory, using a military-grade nerve agent from the “Novichok” group developed by Russia. Yesterday, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) confirmed the findings of our two countries.

As underlined in our joint statement of 4 September, this atrocious attempted murder seriously undermines the basic principles of democracy and political pluralism. Moreover, it is another shocking case of use of a chemical weapon, two years after a similar weapon was used by Russia on British territory, in Salisbury, on 4 March 2018.

A murder attempt has been made on Russian soil, against a Russian opposition figure, using a military-grade nerve agent developed by Russia.

In light of these circumstances, France and Germany have repeatedly called on Russia to fully investigate the circumstances of this crime and to account for the perpetrators. No credible explanation has been provided by Russia so far. In this context, we consider that there is no other plausible explanation for Mr Navalny’s poisoning than a Russian involvement and responsibility.

Drawing the necessary conclusions from these facts, France and Germany will share with European partners proposals for additional sanctions. Proposals will target individuals deemed responsible for this crime and breach of international norms, based on their official function, as well as an entity involved in the Novichok programme.

France and Germany remain in contact with their partners to decide on further actions in response to this violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).

The Governments of France and Germany once again convey to Mr Navalny and his family their full solidarity and best wishes for a speedy recovery./.