Statement by the Federal Government on the Navalny case

On 2 September 2020, the Federal Government announced that, at the request of the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, a specialist Bundeswehr laboratory carried out toxicological tests on samples from Alexei Navalny. The results of these tests have revealed unequivocal proof of the presence of a chemical nerve agent from the Novichok group.

This constitutes a severe violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). The Federal Government has therefore requested that the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) help analyse evidence related to the Navalny case. This request for OPCW assistance was made in accordance with Article VIII 38 (e) of the CWC, which enables all States Parties to obtain technical assistance from the OPCW.

On this basis, the OPCW has taken test samples from Mr Navalny and has made the necessary arrangements to have these examined in OPCW Designated Laboratories.

Moreover, the Federal Government has requested that France and Sweden as European partners conduct an independent examination of the German evidence, based on new samples taken from Mr Navalny. The results of this examination by specialist laboratories in France and Sweden have meanwhile been released and confirm the German findings.

In efforts separate from the OPCW examinations, which are still ongoing, three laboratories have meanwhile independently of one another presented proof that Mr Navalny’s poisoning was caused by a nerve agent from the Novichok group.

We once again call on Russia to make a statement on the incident. We are closely consulting with our European partners regarding possible next steps.