The North Atlantic Treaty Organization “NATO” called on Russia to disclose its program to produce Novichok toxin to international observers, after the incident of poisoning activist Alexei Navalny.
Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that NATO members are united in condemning the “horrific” attack, adding that there was “unquestionable evidence” of the use of Novichok against Navalny.
However, Russia rejected the diagnosis presented by doctors in Germany, where he is being treated.
Speaking after an emergency meeting of NATO, Stoltenberg said that the Kremlin “must cooperate fully with the OPCW in an impartial international investigation.”
He added, “We also call on Russia to provide a full disclosure of Novichok’s program to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.”
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The Soviet-era nerve gas was also used to poison ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the UK in 2018. Britain accused Russian Military Intelligence of carrying out the attack, and as part of a concerted effort – more than 100 diplomats and Russian spies were expelled from 20 countries. While Russia denied any involvement in the case.
However, Stoltenberg stressed that the poisoning of Navalny, which occurred in Russia rather than in a NATO member state, was different from the poisoning of Skripal and his daughter.
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He said, “We strongly believe that there is a flagrant violation of international law that prohibits the use of any chemical weapons, so it requires an international response, but I will not think now of the exact type of international response.”
Several senior Russian lawmakers have ignored NATO’s recent demands.
“Until the experts confirm or deny the use of chemicals that are subject to the Chemical Weapons Convention, the calls for the involvement of the OPCW appear, in my opinion, to be politicized,” said Konstantin Kosachev of the Council of the Russian Federation.
Navalny, an anti-corruption activist, has long been the most prominent face of Russia’s opposition to President Vladimir Putin.
He felt a health setback last month while on a flight from Siberia to Moscow. The plane made an emergency landing in Omsk, and Russian officials were persuaded to allow him to be flown to Germany two days later.
The Kremlin says it has not seen German data on Navalny’s condition, and therefore does not accept a diagnosis of the poisoning.
Since the incident, the European Union has demanded the Russian government to conduct a “transparent” investigation. The US National Security Council also pledged to “work with allies and the international community to hold those involved in Russia accountable.”