September 30, 2020

Risch, Menendez Request Administration Investigation into Novichok Poisoning of Alexei Navalny

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), chairman and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today sent a letter to President Donald Trump requesting that the administration consider whether the Russian government poisoned Alexei Navalny with a chemical nerve agent.

“We are very concerned by assessments that Russian anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny was poisoned in August 2020, by a chemical nerve agent from the Novichok family,” the members wrote. “With respect to this matter, pursuant to Section 306(b) of the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 (22 U.S.C. § 5604(b)), we are writing to respectfully request that you consider whether the government of the Russian Federation used chemical or biological weapons in violation of international law or against its one of its own nationals and thus should be subject to sanctions contained in the statute.”

“Mr. Navalny’s poisoning is particularly disturbing as a Novichok agent was also used in the March 2018 attack on Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, England. In that instance, your administration concluded that the Russian government was behind the attack and thus subject to sanctions. The United States must again make clear that any such behavior is not acceptable,” the members concluded.

A copy of the full letter can be found here.

###