JPEG - 78.9 kb

We have the honour to bring to your attention an urgent matter regarding the use of chemical weapons, which is a threat to international peace and security.

On 20 August 2020, Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny became severely ill during a return flight to Moscow from the Siberian city of Tomsk. Mr. Navalny received initial medical treatment in a hospital in Omsk before he was transferred to the Berlin Charité hospital on 22 August.

On 2 September 2020, the German Government confirmed that tests by a German laboratory had shown unequivocal proof that Mr. Navalny had been poisoned by a chemical nerve agent from the novichok group, which was developed by the Soviet Union and subsequently held by its successor State, the Russian Federation.

After having been informed of the findings by the German Government on 3 September 2020, the Director General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, Fernando Arias, issued a statement confirming that, under the Chemical Weapons Convention, any poisoning of an individual through the use of a nerve agent was considered a use of chemical weapons.

We recall that, on 22 November 2019, the Security Council adopted a presidential statement (S/PRST/2019/14) in which it reaffirmed that any use of chemical weapons anywhere, at any time, by anyone, under any circumstance was unacceptable and a threat to international peace and security.

As such, we consider that the use of a chemical nerve agent from the novichok group in the abhorrent poisoning of Alexey Navalny constitutes a threat to international peace and security. We call on the Russian Federation to disclose, urgently, fully and in a transparent manner, the circumstances of this attack and to inform the Security Council in this regard.

We should be grateful if you would circulate the present letter as a document of the Security Council.