Deputy Chairman of the State
Duma, head of the Russian delegation to PACE and Vice-President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Petr Tolstoy
Petr Olegoviсh , following the meeting of the PACE Monitoring Committee, told reporters that he had called on European colleagues to cooperate in investigation of the incident with Russian blogger Alexey Navalny, and then to discuss confirmed facts and not rumors. At the same time, the parliamentarian is concerned that “the bodies of the Council of Europe descend into rumors discussions”, setting aside not only the rules of procedure, but also the reputation.
He added that the issue of ”the possible poisoning of Alexey Navalny“ had been actively discussed at the meetings of the PACE Committees during the past three days. At the same time, the participants had already accused the official Russian authorities without any evidence of poisoning, taking into account only the biased statements of Vladimir Kara-Murza and Leonid Volkov.
“I was surprised when the PACE Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights suggested in August to include this issue in the meeting agenda. At that time there was no information at all about Alexey Navalny's condition and his diagnosis. And even then, Mr. Kara-Murza had already been announced as a speaker at the meeting. In this regard, I sent a letter to the Chairman of the Commission Boriss Cilevičs with a request to clarify the situation and urge the members of the Committee not to make premature conclusions and conjunctions. Now Mr. Cilevičs, violating the regulations, single-handedly decides to send a request to the PACE Bureau with a request to instruct the Commission on Legal Affairs to prepare a report on the alleged poisoning of the Russian blogger. The head of the Committee apparently considered it unnecessary to put the decision to the vote just as in the case with the statement on the situation in Belarus,” said Petr Tolstoy.
He also recalled that there are still no proofs of the poisoning of the blogger.
However, the issue related to the incident with Russian blogger Alexey Navalny was raised by the representatives of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe at the meeting of the PACE Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy held on September 8, and there was a phrase that the fact of poisoning of blogger Alexey Navalny with a ”Novichok nerve agent“ was beyond doubt.
”We have reached the point where the allegations do not need evidence, we should not wait for the results of the investigation, but any rumor can be taken into account at the highest international level, whether it is Navalny’s case, the Salisbury poisonings or the MH17 crash. This is another case of provocation aimed at demonizing Russia. It turns out that the members of the Council of Europe are simply misled, involved in the discussion of speculations, and in my opinion, it is unacceptable in relation to such respected European inter-parliamentary organization with long history,“ concluded Petr Tolstoy.