Disinfo: Germany misleads the world about Navalny case

Summary

Germany misleads the world’s public about the Navalny case and does not inform Moscow of its findings.

Germany has so far left Russia’s inquiries regarding the alleged poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny unanswered.

Our German partners cannot give a normal clear answer to a single question. We once again call on Berlin to stop misleading the world’s public. The Federal Republic of Germany continues to persistently and quite obviously hide the true circumstances of what happened to Navalny, as well as his stay on its territory, not only from our country, but also from its own deputies.

The Kremlin announced that Berlin had not informed Moscow of its findings. The Russian Foreign Ministry stressed several times that Russia was waiting for a response from Germany to an official inquiry about the situation. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) also left Russia’s inquiries unanswered.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narrative surrounding the poisoning of a prominent Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny.

Alexei Navalny fell ill during a flight from Siberia to Moscow on the 20th of August. Initially hospitalised in Omsk, at the request of his family, he was transferred to Charité hospital in Berlin, where clinical findings indicated that he was poisoned with a substance from the group of cholinesterase inhibitors. Subsequent toxicological tests provided unequivocal evidence of a chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group in his blood samples.

Russia keeps trying to question these results. However, indisputable evidence exists. After Germany requested its technical assistance, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), of which Russia is a member, issued a statement verifying previous statements by the German authorities. Several reports have indicated that the OPCW tests showed that blood and urine samples contained a "cholinesterase inhibitor" similar to two Novichok chemicals that were banned by the Hague-based body in 2019. The OPCW findings corroborated earlier independent conclusions by German, French, and Swedish laboratories.

Also, Germany has responded to past Russian calls for Navalny's medical samples by saying that Russia should already have all it needs after its initial treatment of the dissident. Germany also informed Russia via diplomatic channels on the progress of the investigation.

Arne Collatz, a spokesman for Germany’s Defence Ministry said the data had been provided to the Hague-based Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

“This international organisation, of which Russia is also a member, has a treaty-based mandate to oversee and enforce the ban on the use, production, storage as well as research into chemical weapons.”

Furthermore, on September 11, Berlin’s Justice Ministry approved a request from Moscow for legal assistance in the investigation and information on Navalny’s state of health, “subject to his consent”.

The European Union condemned the poisoning of Alexei Navalny in the strongest possible terms.

Read similar disinfo cases alleging that the West did not respond to Russian initiatives to cooperate on the Navalny case, that Navalny was allegedly poisoned with Novichok, but no proof was provided and that Navalny prevented Germany sending evidence to Russia.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 232
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 18/02/2021
  • Outlet language(s) German
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: EU, Germany, Russia
  • Keywords: novichok, OPCW, West, Anti-Russian, Alexei Navalny, Chemical weapons/attack, Maria Zakharova
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EU has been consistently and deliberately breaking relations with Russia

The gap between the Russian Federation and the EU has been going on for many years, and the EU has been consistently breaking relations. And although Moscow and Brussels are discussing some issues, this is not part of the relations between the Russian Federation and the EU. The framework of these relations was deliberately destroyed at the initiative of Brussels. Moscow is ready to establish a dialogue with the EU, but Brussels itself is not going to do this.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the EU, an attempt to put the responsibility for EU-Russian relations on Brussels, alleging that the EU is destroying them.

The EU has imposed restrictive measures, including sectoral sanctions, as a result of the illegal annexation of Crimea and Russia's destabilising actions in eastern Ukraine. Formats such as regular high-level dialogues remain suspended in the absence of the full implementation of the Minsk agreements by Russia. These events have seriously affected bilateral relations. As a result, some of the policy dialogues and mechanisms of cooperation are temporarily frozen, and sanctions directed at promoting a change in Russia's actions in Ukraine have been adopted.

Finland is attempting to destabilise Russia

Finland, exploiting representatives of the opposition in St. Petersburg, wants to destabilise the situation in Russia. EU is serious in its calculations on a deterioration of the internal political situation in Russia and is promising its agents of influence a status in a new Russian elite. This is unfriendly step and another attempt to invest in the destruction of relations with Russia.

/—/

In connection with the visit of Pekka Haavisto, Finland organised a secret meeting in the Consulate General, inviting several representatives of the so-called civil society and opposition members of the St. Petersburg municipal council. Member of the Russian parliament, Vitaliy Milonov, declares that the municipal councilmen, taking part in the secret meeting, should be investigated by competent authorities.

Disproof

An unfounded claim, consistent with a narrative of foreign countries waging anti-Russian policies. Finland's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pekka Haavisto, did meet with representatives of the civil society and opposition parties, as well as Finnish media and business representatives, but the visit was not secret. The Russian hosts were informed about Haavisto's programme, during the visit in St. Petersburg.

Finland continues to emphasise the need for a dialogue with Russia, but is also demanding Russia to abide to its obligations on international law and agreements.

The West is using "combating disinformation" as a cover for censorship in an Orwellian spirit

We see how the West constantly and persistently tightens its censorship of freedom of expression, while calling it in the spirit of George Orwell’s dystopia “combating disinformation.” This applies to opposing channels abroad, such as RT, or internal opponents. The ban was not limited to tens of thousands of Trump supporters in social networks only, but in entire media outlets that have come under siege, and even social networks, such as Parler, which are well-known to the American opposition, are also closed.

Disproof

No evidence is provided to support the article’s claims. The article repeats a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative claiming that the effort to fight disinformation is really aimed at censoring information that is unwelcome to Western governments and at silencing critics of dominant Western narratives.

The article’s messages are consistent with the broad pro-Kremlin narrative that seeks to discredit liberal democratic societies by claiming that the latter are totalitarian systems ruled by “globalist elites” and “shadow governments” which persecute anyone who expresses views that dissent from dominant “politically correct” liberal-globalist thinking. Disinformation (including Pro-Kremlin disinformation and malign influence campaigns) is not an imaginary problem used to justify censorship, but is an issue of genuine concern for many governments around the world, because it represents a threat to a nation’s security and stability, as well as to democratic governance.