London Seeks To Cooperate With OPCW On Navalny Case To Hold Those Responsible Accountable

LONDON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 08th September, 2020) The UK Foreign Office believes that Moscow has to provide an explanation on the situation over Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny and promises to cooperate with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to hold those responsible accountable, an office spokesman said in a statement on Monday.

Earlier in the day, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said that Russian Ambassador to London Andrei Kelin was summoned to the UK Foreign Office in connection with the situation around Navalny, adding that Moscow needed to have "a full, transparent investigation." The embassy subsequently told Sputnik that Kelin noted the inadmissibility of unfounded accusations against Moscow and declared Russia's loyalty to its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention.

"There is a case here for Russia to answer. This took place on Russian soil, against a Russian citizen. They have international obligations to uphold. This is nothing short of an attack against the rules based international system which keeps our societies safe," the statement said.

The office considered the use of a banned chemical weapon absolutely unacceptable, as well as condemned violence against a leading Russian opposition figure.

"We will work with our partners, including through action in the OPCW, to hold the perpetrators to account," the statement added.

Navalny fell ill during a domestic Russian flight on August 20. He was initially treated in the Siberian city of Omsk, where the plane made an emergency landing. Two days later, once the doctors established he was fit for a cross-border aerial transportation, the 44-year-old was flown to the Charite hospital for further treatment.

Last week, the German government said that doctors found traces of a nerve agent from the Novichok group in his system. Moscow responded by pointing out to the lack of evidence in Berlin's claims and noting that Russian doctors had found no toxic substances in Navalny. Within the context, Moscow sent requests for legal assistance and more information on Navalny's case. In response, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that Berlin could share the information about Navalny, but it was a multistage process.

Earlier in the day, Berlin's Charite hospital announced that the politician's condition had improved and he was woken up from an induced coma.