Russia: Declaration of the High Representative on behalf of the EU on the poisoning of Alexei Navalny

The European Union condemns in the strongest possible terms the assassination attempt on Alexei Navalny, who was poisoned by a military chemical nerve agent of the “Novichok” group, similar to the one used in the assassination attempt on Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury on 4 March 2018.

The use of chemical weapons is completely unacceptable under any circumstances, constitutes a serious breach of international law and international human rights standards. The European Union calls for a joint international response and reserves the right to take appropriate actions, including through restrictive measures.

This new assassination attempt on a Russian citizen took place on the territory of the Russian Federation. The Russian government must do its utmost to investigate this crime thoroughly in full transparency and bring those responsible to justice. Impunity must not and will not be tolerated. The European Union calls upon the Russian Federation to fully cooperate with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to ensure an impartial international investigation.

We are grateful to the Charité – Universitätsmedizin hospital in Berlin for the treatment of Mr Navalny and wish him a prompt and full recovery.

The European Union will continue to closely follow the issue and consider its implications.