G-7 Foreign Ministers Condemn Poisoning of Alexei Navalny


Washington, Sept. 8 (Jiji Press)--Foreign ministers of the Group of Seven major powers on Tuesday denounced the attempted murder of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and urged Moscow to clarify who is responsible for the assault.

The foreign ministers of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States "are united in condemning, in the strongest possible terms, the confirmed poisoning" of Navalny, they said in a joint statement issued through the government of the United States, this year's chair of the G-7 forum.

Navalny "is the victim of an attack with a chemical nerve agent of the 'Novichok' group," which was developed by the former Soviet Union, the statement said. "Any use of chemical weapons, anywhere, anytime, by anybody, under any circumstances whatsoever, is unacceptable and contravenes the international norms prohibiting the use of such weapons," it said.

The ministers urged Russia to "urgently and fully establish transparency on who is responsible for this abhorrent poisoning attack" and "bring the perpetrators to justice."

The attack against the opposition leader is "another grave blow against democracy and political plurality in Russia," the ministers said, calling on Moscow to "fulfill its commitments" under the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, and guarantee these rights, including the right to freedom of expression, to its citizens.

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