Motion for a resolution - B9-0281/2020Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the situation in Russia: the poisoning of Alexei Navalny

14.9.2020 - (2020/2777(RSP))

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
pursuant to Rule 132(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Kati Piri, Tonino Picula, Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz
on behalf of the S&D Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0280/2020

Procedure : 2020/2777(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the situation in Russia: the poisoning of Alexei Navalny


The European Parliament,

 having regard to its previous resolutions on Russia, in particular of 12 March 2019 on the state of EU-Russia political relations[1], of 6 April 2017 on Russia, the arrest of Alexei Navalny and other protestors[2], and of 15 January 2015 on Russia, in particular the case of Alexei Navalny[3],

 having regard to the declaration of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on behalf of the EU of 3 September 2020 on the poisoning of Alexei Navalny,

 having regard to the statements by the VP/HR of 2 September 2020 on the poisoning of Alexei Navalny and of 24 August 2020 on the suspected poisoning of Alexei Navalny,

 having regard to the G7 Foreign Ministers’ statement on the poisoning of Alexei Navalny of 8 September 2020,

 having regard to the Chemical Weapons Convention,

 having regard to the unanimous adoption of decisions C-24/DEC.4 and C-24/DEC.5 by the 24th Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention of 27 November 2019, adding Novichok organophosphorus nerve agents to Schedule 1 of the Annex on Chemicals to the Convention, and the entry into force of these decisions on 7 June 2020,

 having regard to the statement from the OPCW Director-General on allegations of chemical weapons use against Alexei Navalny of 3 September 2020,

 having regard to Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both of which provide that no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and to which the Russian Federation is a party,

 having regard to Rule 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the Chemical Weapons Convention has been in force since 1997 and the OPCW, as the body responsible for it implementation, has successfully been pursuing the global endeavour to permanently eliminate chemical weapons, with the result that over 98 % of all chemical weapons stockpiles declared by possessor states have been destroyed under OPCW verification;

B. whereas under the Chemical Weapons Convention, any poisoning of an individual through the use of a nerve agent is considered a use of chemical weapons and the use of chemical weapons by anyone under any circumstances constitutes a serious breach of international law and international human rights standards; whereas, following the unanimous adoption of two proposals to that effect, including one put forward by the Russian Federation, Novichok was added to the list of controlled substances of the Chemical Weapons Convention and is therefore subject to the most stringent control guidelines under the Convention;

C. whereas Alexei Navalny, a prominent Russian opposition politician, is reported to have fallen into a coma on 20 August on board a domestic Russian flight, was transported to a hospital in the Russian city of Tomsk and, at the request of his family, has been receiving medical treatment at the Charité hospital in Berlin since 22 August;

D. whereas on 2 September the toxicological analysis carried out by a specialised laboratory of the German armed forces proved that Alexei Navalny was poisoned by a military-grade chemical nerve agent of the ‘Novichok’ group, developed by the Soviet Union and later by the Russian Federation;

E. whereas the fact that the assassination attempt on Alexei Navalny took place in the run‑up to Russia’s local and regional elections casts a particularly worrying light on the state of democracy, fundamental freedoms and human rights in the country;

F. whereas the Council has called on the Russian authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into the attempted assassination of Alexei Navalny, has called for a joint international response and has reserved its right to take appropriate actions, including restrictive measures;

1. Strongly condemns the attempted assassination of Alexei Navalny, who was poisoned by a military-grade chemical nerve agent of the ‘Novichok’ group, and expresses its utmost concern about this repeated use of a chemical nerve agent against Russian citizens, which echoes the case of Sergei Skripal in 2018; recalls that the use of chemical weapons under any circumstances constitutes a reprehensible crime under international law, in particular under the Chemical Weapons Convention;

2. States its conviction that this attempted assassination of Alexei Navalny was aimed at silencing one of Russia’s most influential anti-corruption activists and opposition politicians, at deterring further exposure of serious corruption in the regime and at deterring political opposition in the country in general, in particular with a view to influencing Russia’s local and regional by-elections of 11-13 September;

3. Urges the Russian government to investigate swiftly, thoroughly and transparently this crime against a Russian citizen who was poisoned on Russian territory by a chemical nerve agent developed by the Soviet Union and later the Russian Federation and accessible only to Russian military and intelligence services;

4. Calls on the Russian authorities to bring to justice and hold accountable both the perpetrators of this reckless act and the persons responsible for facilitating it by providing the perpetrators with the chemical nerve agent, and to cooperate fully with the OPCW to ensure an impartial international investigation;

5. Calls on the Russian authorities to put an end to the harassment, intimidation, violence, and repression of its political opponents by ending the prevailing impunity which has already led to the loss of lives of many journalists, human rights defenders and opposition politicians, and to ensure that they are able to carry out their legitimate and useful activities without fear for their lives or those of their family members or friends;

6. Stresses that the Russian Federation, as a member of the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, is committed to respecting fundamental freedoms, human rights and the rule of law as enshrined in the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR);

7. Underlines the duty of the Russian Federation, as a member of the UN Security Council, to respect international law, relevant agreements and conventions, and to comply fully with its international commitments, including cooperation with the OPCW in investigating any breach of the Chemical Weapons Conventions;

8. Commends the HR/VP for his active role in condemning Mr Navalny’s poisoning in the strongest possible terms and welcomes the efforts and contributions of the German Presidency to define a common EU response; calls on the Council to continue exerting pressure on the Russian Federation to investigate the attempted assassination by poisoning of Alexei Navalny; calls on the Foreign Affairs Council to take an active stance on this matter at its meeting of 21 September;

9. Welcomes the ongoing discussion among Member States on possible restrictive measures in response to a lack of cooperation by the Russian Federation in international efforts aimed at investigating the poisoning of Alexei Navalny through the use of a chemical weapon in breach of international law; acknowledges that the German government has indicated its readiness to reconsider its support to Nord Stream 2 in light of this assassination attempt;

10. Calls for the imposition of sanctions against all individuals who bear responsibility for this reprehensible crime; calls on the Commission and the HR/VP to swiftly operationalise and implement the EU human rights sanctions regime;

11. Calls on the EEAS led by the High Representative/Vice-President to ensure continued cohesion around the five guiding principles of the EU’s policy towards Russia and to develop a new comprehensive strategy towards Russia, with a firm and principled position, based on the need to respect international law and human rights standards and aimed at strengthening peace and security;

12. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Council of Europe, the OSCE and the President, Government and Parliament of the Russian Federation.


Last updated: 16 September 2020
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