OPCW Experts Ready to Visit Russia for the Navalny Case
OPCW experts are ready to go to Russia to investigate the poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny with Russian colleagues.
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague confirmed on Monday that it had received a request from Moscow to consider a mission.
Russia reported that earlier itself. OPCW director Fernando Arias has announced that his institute wants to make expertise available and can send a team in the short term.
He simultaneously asked the Russian authorities what kind of expertise they have in mind that is relevant to the chemical weapons ban that the OPCW oversees.
According to German doctors, Navalny was poisoned with poison from the novichok group developed in the Soviet Union. The test results were presented to the OPCW more than three weeks ago, but have not been shared with Russia.
The use of Novichok is prohibited under the Chemical Weapons Convention and is, therefore, a severe violation of international law.
Western government leaders have long been calling on Moscow to cooperate with the OPCW to determine exactly what happened to Navalny. The perpetrators must not escape their sentence, was emphasized at an EU summit on Friday.
Russia has consistently denied having anything to do with the poisoning, for which it says it has also seen no evidence.
The opposition leader became unwell on August 20 during a Russian domestic flight. According to his employees, traces of the nerve poison have been found on an empty water bottle from his hotel room.