FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Alyssa Bonk
Date: September 1, 2020
NYCFPA CONDEMNS PUTIN AND RUSSIAN ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT ON POLITICAL OPPONENT
WASHINGTON – NYCFPA, Sep 2. The New York Center for Foreign Policy Affairs (NYCFPA) is deeply concerned about the findings published today by the German government stating that Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was poisoned with the “chemical nerve agent of Novichok”.
NYCFPA condemns the Russian government for not only using this tool against political opponents but for breaking international law that strongly prohibits chemical or biological weapons in any way.
On August 20th, Alexi Navalny, an anti-corruption advocate and political opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was urgently hospitalized in the Russian city Omsk after his plane made an emergency landing while en route from Siberia to Moscow. Navalny reportedly became violently ill after drinking tea at the airport. Later he was flown to Germany for emergency medical treatment. As of today, he is still in a medically induced coma and remains in serous condition.
Navalny’s friends and associates immediately claimed that he was poisoned and that this was an attempt to silence the long-time outspoken critic of the Putin government. However, Russian officials repeatedly said there was no evidence to support this claim.
After several days in a Russian clinic and with the urging of his wife, Navalny was sent to a German hospital in Berlin, where doctors finally confirmed the poisoning with the deadly chemical nerve agent of Novichok.
It should be noted that Russia was accused of using this exact same chemical against its citizens previously. In 2018, according to international experts, British Authorities in London investigated a Novichok attack that poisoned Sergei Skripal – a former colonel GRU agent, and his 33-year-old daughter Yulia. This action resulted in a sweeping condemnation by the international community and sanctions from the United Kingdom, the U.S., and a broad range of other countries worldwide.
After the 2018 attack, European countries and the United States expelled 100 Russian diplomats and requested Russia to give “reliable assurances” that it will no longer use chemical weapons. The international community also asked the Russian Federation to allow inspections by the United Nations or other international official observer groups to confirm Russia was following international norms.
“Here we are, two years after the Skripal poisoning, and Vladimir Putin is using the exact same illegal tactics on his political opponents that he did in London… but this time, within the borders of their own country,” says NYCFPA Principal Director Justin Russell. “The global community should condemn these horrible actions played out by the Russian Government and sanction those directly and indirectly involved.”
The NYCFPA calls on the White House and the State Department to demand an immediate and transparent international investigation of the circumstances that lead to the poisoning of Alexi Navalny. Our Center condemns the use of chemical agents in any situation, but especially by governments on their own citizens because they do not support the authoritarian leadership of the head of state.
Finally, our thoughts and prayers are with Alexi, his wife and family. We want to wish him a full and speedy recovery so he can continue to be a strong voice for democracy in Russia.