The Russian Foreign Ministry has called German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas’ statement that Moscow should contact the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) about the situation with politician Alexei Navalny "evasion".
"We saw a statement today by Mr Maas regarding, I quote, 'for all the data that Russia expects, it should contact the OPCW'. Sorry, this is just some real evasion, to put it mildly. But given the resonance and the sensitivity of the issue that we are all observing now, to be honest, I would like to pick up a stronger expression, because this is impossible", Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on air on the Rossiya 1 broadcaster.
Earlier today, Steffen Seibert, the German government’s spokesman, stated that Germany and the OPCW had made advances in joint work on the alleged poisoning case and "received the undeniable results of the special laboratory of the Bundeswehr [Germany’s military]". The German Foreign Ministry said that the OPCW had taken samples from Alexei Navalny for an investigation on its own, in accordance with Paragraph VIII 38 (e) of the Chemical Weapons Convention, which envisions technical assistance to OPCW member states.
Russian President Vladimir Putin told French leader Emmanuel Macron during a phone conversation that groundless accusations against Russia regarding the situation around Navalny were unacceptable. Putin also told Macron that Germany needed to share its case materials with Russia so that the situation could be clarified.
Navalny fell ill during a domestic Russian flight on 20 August. He was initially treated in the Siberian city of Omsk, where the plane made an emergency landing. Two days later, once the doctors established that he was fit for cross-border aerial transportation, the man was flown to the Berlin-based Charite hospital for further treatment.
German doctors claimed they found traces of a substance from the group of cholinesterase inhibitors in his body, which Russian doctors denied, citing the patient's test results. They said that no traces of poison had been found and suggested that his condition was caused by an abrupt drop of glucose in his blood due to a metabolic imbalance.