“This is overwhelming information about an attempt to kill one of the main oppositionists in Russia with the help of poison.” Transcript of Angela Merkel’s speech about the poisoning of Alexei Navalny
Ladies and Gentlemen!
This afternoon, the Minister of Finance, the Vice-Chancellor, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Defense, the Minister of the Interior, the Minister of Justice and the head of the Federal Chancellor’s department received new information concerning Alexei Navalny and discussed how we will proceed with this information.
We have already informed you in writing about this in the afternoon. This is overwhelming information about an attempt with the help of poison to kill one of the main oppositionists in Russia, and therefore it is important for me to once again express my position to you.
Mr. Navalny has been in Berlin for treatment since August 22. For humanitarian reasons and following the wishes of his family, we made it possible to transport him to Germany.
The Charite Clinic has commissioned toxicologists from the Bundeswehr to examine Mr Navalny’s medical samples. Now the special laboratory of the Bundeswehr has made a clear conclusion. Alexei Navalny was the victim of an attack using a chemical nerve agent from the Novichok group. This poison, without any doubt, is present in the samples.
Therefore, it is clear that Alexei Navalny was the victim of a crime. He should have been silenced, and I condemn this, including on behalf of the entire federal government, in the strongest terms.
I want to take this opportunity to express my sympathy to Alexei Navalny and his family, which is going through a difficult time. I hope and wish him that he could recover from this assassination attempt.
Earlier I already called the Bundes-President to talk to him about the development of the situation with Navalny. The federal government has also informed the factions in the Bundestag. The federal government will contact the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague.
In the afternoon, the Russian ambassador was informed by the Foreign Ministry of the test results. We expect the Russian government to speak out about this incident. Serious questions arise that only the Russian government can and should answer.
The fate of Alexei Navalny has attracted the attention of the whole world. The world will be waiting for answers. We inform our partners in the EU and NATO about the research results. We will discuss this together and, taking into account the Russian position, we will decide what general reaction will be proportionate.
The crime against Alexei Navalny is directed against the fundamental rights and values that we defend.