11:55 GMT25 January 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Moscow has not received a response from the Technical Secretariat of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to a request for assistance in the situation with blogger Alexey Navalny, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement in connection with the reaction of the OPCW leadership to the request.

    Navalny fell ill while aboard a domestic Russian flight on 20 August. He received urgent medical help in Russia and then was flown to the Charite hospital in Berlin for further treatment. The German government then claimed to have evidence of his poisoning with a nerve agent from the Novichok group.

    "After two and a half months, no intelligible answer has been received. The pretext was the lack of consent of the German authorities for full-fledged interaction of experts of this agency with Russian specialiыed experts to clarify the circumstances of the 'poisoning' of the blogger announced by Berlin. The proposals of the Russian side on the key modalities of the planned visit of OPCW Technical Secretariat representatives to Russia were also rejected", the ministry said in a statement.

    It recalled that a request to provide Moscow with technical assistance on the basis of paragraph 38 (e) of Article VIII of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) had been sent to OPCW Technical Secretariat Director General Fernando Arias on 1 October.

    "We were going to involve the OPCW's expertise in the procedural actions carried out by Russian law enforcement agencies within the framework of the pre-investigation check in order to clarify the main questions: where, how and under what circumstances, chemicals discovered outside Russia appeared in the blogger's biological materials, which by the German authorities, France and Sweden, as well as the Technical Secretariat of the OPCW were 'unmistakably' assigned to the group of chemical compounds, for political reasons referred to in the West as 'Novichok", the statement said.

    What is typical, these substances are not included in the lists of chemical compounds controlled by the Convention. Nevertheless, the experts of these countries were able to come to their unambiguous conclusions, although earlier officials there completely denied the very fact of conducting their own research on the notorious 'Novichok'", the statement added.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry stressed that, turning to the OPCW for assistance, it hoped for a completely different reaction.

    "We did not receive a proper response. The organisation was again 'held hostage' by those who persistently seek to use it in their geopolitical interests. As a result, we have less and less confidence in the OPCW", the ministry concluded.

    Germany, response, assistance, Russia
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