On Friday, the Kremlin accused Germany of impeding the investigation into the poisoning of Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny, according to a DW report.
The Russian Foreign Ministry stated that Germany’s refusal to cooperate in the investigation amounted to a violation of the 1959 European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters of the Council of Europe. Doctors in Siberia, according to the Ministry, had presented their colleagues in Germany with information. Russia is willing to cooperate for the sake of Navalny’s speedy recovery.
However, the Ministry indicated that Russia requests for mutual legal assistance had fallen on deaf ears, its calls for cooperation on the investigation having been met with a categorical refusal by the German Government.
Moreover, the Ministry took issue with the actions of the Technical Secretariat of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) believing it was anti-Russian hysteria in the West that led to the conclusion that Navalny had been poisoned with a banned nerve agent.
Navalny’s spokeswoman Kira Yarmush said Thursday that Navalny’s bank accounts and his apartment in Moscow had been seized several days after he fell ill, as per a 2019 court order. This was linked to the legal battle of Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), which had claimed that a catering company responsible for a dysentery breakout in schools and kindergartens in 2018 was linked to businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, an associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Prigozhin’s aides denied that he had anything to do with the company, which in turn sued for libel, winning in court. According to the ruling, the FBK, Navalny and his associate Lyubov Sobol had to pay damages of close to 1 million euros.
Russian media reported about four weeks ago that Prigozhin had struck a deal with the catering company to have the damages paid to him personally and promised to ruin Navalny if he managed to recover.
Russia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov suggested on Thursday that it was futile for Western officials to hound their Russian counterparts for any acknowledgement or an apology. He again noted that Russia had not received any responses to its requests for information from the OPWC, France, Germany and Sweden about their findings in relation to the poisoning probe.