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Russia Prepares Counter-Demarche at OPCW Over Navalny Case - Foreign Ministry

© REUTERS / MAXIM SHEMETOV Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny attends a court hearing in Moscow, Russia February 20, 2021
 Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny attends a court hearing in Moscow, Russia February 20, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 08.10.2021
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MOSCOW, October 8 (Sputnik) - Russia has prepared a counter-demarche at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in response to a letter from a number of countries regarding the situation with opposition figure Alexey Navalny, the Foreign Ministry said on Friday.
Earlier this week, the United States, the United Kingdom and 43 other countries from the OPCW sent to Russia a list of questions on the Navalny case, and the answer is expected within 10 days.
“In the section ‘Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’ on the website of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, there is a package of documents that constitutes a Russian counter-demarche to the OPCW under clause 2 of Article IX of the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, prepared, among other things, in response to the attack against us by 45 states led by Great Britain in connection with the situation around A. Navalny,” the ministry said in a statement.
Moscow said that Berlin in fact prevents the official investigation regarding the Navalny case happening in Russia. The ministry also said that Russia wants to receive from Germany information on who accompanied Navalny on a plane from Omsk to Berlin within 10 days.
In addition, the ministry said that it wants a response from Germany and the United Kingdom on why they prevent Russian law enforcement officers from interrogating Navalny’s ally Maria Pevchikh.
“The Russian side urges the [OPCW] secretariat to provide the video materials at its disposal, which should have been filmed by the secretariat's specialists, first when taking biological samples from A.A. Navalny at the Charite clinic [in Berlin], and then, when separating and sealing them, to be transferred to laboratories designated by the secretariat for research, as well as to inform about any other actions of the secretariat in the framework of providing technical assistance to Germany in the incident with Russian citizen Navalny,” the ministry added.

France's Confirmation

The French Foreign Ministry confirmed on Friday the receipt of the verbal note from Russia, sent in response to the request from member countries of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on the situation with opposition figure Alexey Navalny.
"We have confirmed the receipt of the verbal note from the Russian Federation," a spokesperson of the French Foreign Ministry said, when asked if France have received the response from Russia, addressed to Germany, France, Sweden, and the technical secretariat of the OPCW, and if it will react to it.
A spokesperson added that the nerve agent attack on Navalny had a shocking impact, and now the crime must be properly investigated to prevent similar attacks.
A vehicle of the Russian Investigative Committee (File) - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.09.2021
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Russian Investigators Open Probe Against Navalny, Allies Over Extremist Activities

Germany's Response

Germany has not yet received a response from Russia to the request from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) concerning the alleged poisoning case of Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny, Christopher Burger, a spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry, told Sputnik on Friday.
"At the moment, we have not received such a response," Burger said.
Russia's Permanent Representative to the OPCW Alexander Shulgin said that Moscow responded to the request and sent a counter-request addressed to Germany and several other OPCW countries asking to clarify certain aspects within a 10-day period. He also noted that the West has been using Navalny's alleged poisoning to put pressure on Russia, and called the lists of questions to Moscow a "gross provocation."
The Charite clinic in Berlin where Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny underwent medical treatment in autumn 2020.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.09.2021
German Government Says Unaware Who Sponsored Navalny's Accommodation in Germany

The Navalny Case

Last August, Navalny fell ill on a domestic Russian flight. He was initially treated in the Siberian city of Omsk, where the plane made an emergency landing. Based on the results of the examinations, the Omsk doctors concluded that Navalny had a metabolic disorder, while no poison substances were found in his blood and urine.
Several days later, Navalny was flown to the Charite hospital in Berlin for further treatment. The German government claimed that doctors found traces of a nerve agent of the Novichok type in his system. A number of countries and media outlets speculated that there was evidence of foul play by Moscow. Russia has since denied any involvement in the case.
Moscow believes that the incident was a provocation aimed at discrediting Russia, since Berlin is yet to show any tangible evidence in support of its accusations. Moscow has also pointed out multiple times that the OPCW ignored Russian requests for assistance, hindering the investigation.
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