Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on the media revelations on the poisoning of Alexei Navalny

23.12.2020 - Interview

Interview by Foreign Minister Heiko Maas with the German Press Agency (dpa):

According to new media reports last week on the Navalny case, eight Russian intelligence agents were allegedly involved in the poisoning of the opposition politician. Will there be new consequences as a result?

We have imposed sanctions in the European Union against those politically responsible for this severe violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention. We see the fact that this violation has been investigated and corroborated again by media research as confirmation. However, this does not come as news or as a surprise to us. There will not be any new consequences on this basis.

Russia has imposed counter-sanctions. Are you afraid that you personally or your State Secretaries will no longer be allowed to enter Russia and that cooperation will be adversely affected as a result?

Russia’s response follows a familiar pattern, but it doesn’t help to resolve the situation. The Navalny case does not involve a bilateral dispute, but rather a severe violation in Russia of the international ban on chemical weapons. The fact that Germany, France and Sweden were able to prove this independently of one another simply makes us the bearer of the same bad tidings that Russia is still not willing to address. It remains in our interest to speak constructively with Russia, particularly about topics such as the conflict in eastern Ukraine and the JCPOA with Iran. And I assume that Russia also has an interest in this.


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