Poland urges Russia to conduct thorough probe into Navalny poisoning

Polish foreign ministry on Saturday called on Russia to carry out a thorough investigation into the poisoning attempt of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, a year after the incident.

Russian opposition leader Navalny was poisoned in Siberia on August 20, 2020. He was flown to Germany for medical treatment. After recovering in a Berlin clinic, Navalny was jailed after he landed in Russia.

On October 6, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons confirmed that a substance from the 'Novichok group' developed by Soviet Russia for military purposes was used against Navalny.

The West believes that Russian intelligence is behind the attempted poisoning. Moscow has rejected the allegations and said the West backed smear campaigns to damage Russia.

Poland's foreign ministry posted a statement on its website on Saturday, one day after the first anniversary of Navalny's poisoning.

"We regret to note that the authorities of the Russian Federation have not yet clarified the use of chemical weapons against Alexei Navalny. We call for a reliable and transparent investigation in this matter," the statement read.

At the same time, the foreign ministry once again condemned the attempted attack on the life of the most prominent leader of the Russian opposition.

"We consistently and strongly condemn all forms of abuse/violence, including human rights violations, and express our deep concern at the further deterioration of the internal situation in Russia and the continuous repressions against the opposition, human rights defenders, civil society and independent media," the statement said.

The Polish foreign ministry also hailed Great Britain and the United States for imposing sanctions on Friday on seven individuals they said were Russian intelligence operatives behind the assassination attempt against Navalny. The two countries also issued a joint statement warning Russia over the use of chemical weapons.

"We welcome the introduction of further sanctions by the United Kingdom and the United States today. For many years, Poland has been actively promoting the full implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, strongly advocating the complete elimination of this type of weapon," the statement said.

The foreign ministry added that it will continue to take action in this matter on the international stage.