23 July 202120:49

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova’s comment regarding the Report on the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) in 2020, issued by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)

1492-23-07-2021

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We noted that in the notorious affair concerning an alleged “technical error” in the recently published OPCW report on the implementation of the CWC in 2020, an error related to the date on which an OPCW special mission was sent to Berlin to collect Alexei Navalny’s biological material from the Charite Clinic, the OPCW Technical Secretariat, the author of the report, actually stepped back from giving any explanation on this matter. Permanent Representative of Germany to the OPCW Gudrun Lingner immediately took the initiative in this regard. She has somewhat modified the text by moving forward the date from August 20 to September 4, 2020.

In this connection, a dramatic example of how the Germans themselves got entangled in this “murky” story is provided by Ms Lingner’s conversation with her Russian colleagues, which took place at her initiative at the OPCW HQ in The Hague on September 17, 2020.   According to her version of the events, the FRG Government took the decision to engage OPCW technical expertise only on the evening of September 11, 2020, while the relevant request was sent to OPCW Director-General Fernando Arias the next day, September 12, 2020. The OPCW experts’ actions in Berlin a week earlier, on September 5 and 6, 2020, were allegedly of “preparatory” nature. Indicatively, the leaders of the OPCW Technical Secretariat were assuring us during the same period that they had received nothing from the German side and, until October 4, 2020, they actually denied that they had sent a special mission to Berlin in early September last year.

The Euro-Atlantic “community’s” hastily concocted provocation – and judging by all appearances, we are in the presence of such a frame-up – is so thinly veiled that upon a closer look any reasonable person would have a lot of questions as to what in fact happened to Alexei Navalny. In the current situation, we would suggest that our German colleagues present the international public with, for example, the video footage that the OPCW specialists should have shot while first taking biological samples from Mr Navalny at the Charite Clinic and later sharing and sealing these samples in order for them to be handed over to the two test laboratories designated by the OPCW Technical Secretariat. These are the procedures that are set out by the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Verification Annex and that should be scrupulously followed. Unless we have this and other evidence, it is hard to believe that Mr Navalny’s “poisoning” really happened.

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