European Union President Ursula von der Leyen has condemned the “shameful and cowardly” poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
I was informed by Chancellor Merkel that Russian opposition leader Navalny was attacked with a nerve agent, in his own country. This is a despicable and cowardly act – once again. Perpetrators need to be brought to justice.
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) September 2, 2020
She demanded that those responsible be investigated and brought to justice after the German government announced that chemical weapons experts had discovered that Navalny had been poisoned with the nerve chemical, Noviçok.
“I have been informed by Chancellor (Angela) Merkel that the Russian opposition leader, Navalny, has been attacked with a nerve agent in his country,” von der Leyen said.
“This is a shameful and cowardly act – once again. Criminals must face justice,” she added.
EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said the EU had condemned the poisoning “in the strongest possible terms”.
“The use of chemical weapons under any circumstances is completely unacceptable and a violation of international law,” Borrell said, calling on Russia to investigate the incident impartially and transparently.
Navalny is the main opponent of the Russian president. He fell ill on August 20 during a plane flight from Siberia to Moscow.