NATO convenes to address assassination attempt on Alexey Navalny

4 September 2020

The North Atlantic Council (NAC) met today to address the assassination attempt on Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny. According to a NATO news release, Germany briefed allies on the toxicology findings of their specialist laboratory.

All NATO allies condemned the attack and called on Russia to fully cooperate with an "impartial investigation" led by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). "The OPCW continues to monitor the situation and stands ready to engage with and to assist any States Parties that may request its assistance," said OPCW Director-General Fernando Arias in a separate statement.

In an online press conference after the NAC meeting, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said, “There is proof beyond doubt that Mr. Navalny was poisoned using a military-grade nerve agent from the Novichok group”. The Secretary General stressed that the attack on Mr. Navalny is also an attack on fundamental democratic rights and a serious breach of international law, which demands an international response.

Earlier this week, the German government announced that Navalny had been poisoned with the military-grade nerve agent Novichok, the same chemical weapon British authorities say was used against Sergei Skripal in Salisbury in 2018. In reaction to this earlier poisoning of Skripal, NATO reduced the maximum size of the Russian Mission to NATO from 30 to 20 staff.