Kremlin has denounced the attempts of western countries to blame the Russian government for the alleged poisoning of opposition figure Alexei Navalny as absurd. Last week, German health authorities confirmed “unequivocal proof of the presence of a chemical nerve agent from the Novichok group” after Navalny’s toxicological reports came out.
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said that any poisoning of an individual through the use of a nerve agent is considered a use of chemical weapons. OPCW Director-General Fernando Arias said in a statement that such an allegation is a matter of serious concern and the States that signatories to the Chemical Weapons Convention deem the use of chemical weapons as reprehensible.
The alleged use of Soviet-era nerve agent to poison the Russian opposition leader angered Western countries but the European Commission any new sanctions on Russia could be imposed only after an investigation could find out the perpetrator. However, Merkel said that the Russian opposition leader was a victim of an assassination attempt, demanding an explanation from Moscow.
"Attempts to somehow associate Russia with what happened are unacceptable to us, they are absurd," Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters on September 7.
After a fierce denial of any kind of state’s involvement, Peskov said that the government awaiting information to be provided by Germany in the coming days. Earlier, he had warned Germany and other European countries against rushing to a conclusion in Navalny’s case.
Meanwhile, the German government is facing growing pressure to reconsider Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline, one of the two Russian projects in Europe to supply gas to Germany. Nord Stream 2 is considered as a key part project to deliver gas to Europe via Baltic. The two Russian pipelines are expected to start soon to increase its supply to European countries which will bolster Russia’s position strategically.
"If the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is completed now, it would be the maximum confirmation and encouragement for Putin to continue this kind of politics," Roettgen had told German television.