Over the last two weeks, the United Kingdom has followed with deep concern the case of Alexey Navalny. We have now received confirmation from the German Chancellor that Mr Navalny has been the victim of an attack with the chemical weapon of the Novichok group – a nerve agent previously used with lethal effect in the UK.
It is deplorable that a banned chemical weapon has been used again, and that, yet again, we see violence directed against a leading Russian opposition figure.
The use of a chemical weapon in this way, regardless of where it takes place, engages Russia’s international obligations as a Member of the OPCW. Any use by the Government would amount to a clear violation of its international obligations freely assumed. So this cannot be dismissed as a domestic matter.
The Russian government has a clear case to answer and must tell the truth about what happened to Mr Navalny. It is important that justice is done and the perpetrators of this action are held to account.
We will work closely with Germany, our allies and international partners to demonstrate that there is accountability and there are consequences for any use of banned chemical weapons anywhere in the world.