Comment by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on the joint statement by the French and German foreign ministers on the situation with Alexey Navalny
The statement by the two ministers, which is unacceptable both in content and tone, points to the outright reluctance of Paris and Berlin to consider the facts that were set forth by Russian representatives more than once. Instead of properly cooperating with the Russian Federation with a view to clearing up the circumstances of the incident with the blogger, the German and French governments have now turned to threats and blackmail against us. They are urging the European Union to approve new sanctions against Russian individuals and legal entities, simply brushing aside their own commitments under the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters. All inquiries by the Russian Prosecutor-General’s Office in line with the convention are being ignored.
We have repeatedly told our colleagues that it is unacceptable to disregard our numerous inquiries via different agencies. There is no response. Apparently, they are bogged down in behind-the-scenes intrigues. Russian requests for explanations sent both through bilateral channels and to the OPCW Technical Secretariat are being overtly sabotaged.
By all appearances, now France and Germany are heading the anti-Russian coalition that is taking shape in the European Union, contrary to the earlier statements by Paris and Berlin on their commitment to partnership with Russia.
For our part, we reaffirm that if our colleagues are willing to revise this course towards confrontation and give up their attempts to dictate to us, it is still possible to normalise our dialogue. If they are not willing to do this, we will draw our own conclusions. At any rate, we do not consider it possible to conduct “business as usual” with Berlin and Paris.