Press release on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s telephone conversation with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas
On September 15, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had a telephone conversation with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.
The foreign ministers focused on the state of and prospects for Russian-German relations, and the development of bilateral and international cooperation against the backdrop of the Alexey Navalny case.
The Russian minister reaffirmed Russia’s willingness to cooperate on this issue. He said again that Moscow is waiting for a response from the competent German bodies to the requests sent by the Russian Prosecutor’s Office on August 27 and September 14 of this year in accordance with the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters of April 20, 1959 and the additional protocols to it of March 17, 1978 and November 8, 2001. This legal agreement implies the transfer of the bio materials, test results, clinical analyses and medical documents required for a meticulous, comprehensive investigation into the reasons for Navalny’s illness and hospitalisation, which our Western colleagues are actively urging us to conduct in public. President of Russia Vladimir Putin explained the Russian position to President of France Emmanuel Macron during their telephone conversation on September 14 of this year. If our partners continue evading answers to our requests, it will be qualified as a lack of desire to establish the truth following an objective and comprehensive investigation into the incident.
Sergey Lavrov urged his colleague to stop any further politicising of the Navalny case. He said we cannot accept references to “the independence” of judicial bodies and the need to coordinate actions with Navalny himself or his family and friends that are being used as obstacles to block access for Russian investigators and doctors to the materials held by Germany on his disease and treatment. This runs counter to the afore-mentioned convention.
As for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), to which Germany is referring Russia on this case, the use of this organisation by Germany to clear the case should not be an obstacle to developing bilateral cooperation, both in the OPCW and via the established and generally accepted channels of legal assistance as is required by the sides’ commitments under the afore-mentioned 1959 convention and the related protocols.
The foreign ministers agreed to continue their dialogue on this and other bilateral and international issues.