In-Depth: Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) introduced this resolution to condemn the poisoning of Alexei Navalny, and tweeted his thoughts about the poisoning the day after it occurred:
“I’m horrified by the news that leading Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is in a coma and on a respirator in a Moscow hospital, the apparent victim of poisoning. The information we have is incomplete, but past cases like those of Alexander Litvinenko, Pyotr Verzilov and Vladimir Kara Murza obviously feed suspicion of a politically motivated attack. The Trump administration should immediately call on the Kremlin to ensure a full & independent investigation into the circumstances of Navalny’s sudden severe illness, and should be ready to provide any assistance that could be helpful. I pray for Navalny’s full & fast recovery."”
After preliminary conclusions were reached that Navalny was poisoned, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo released a statement August 25th which echoed the European Union’s call for a comprehensive investigation and said the U.S. “stands ready to assist in that effort” and “Mr. Navalny’s family and the Russian people deserve to see a full and transparent investigation carried out, and for those involved to be held accountable.”
In an interview with conservative commentator Ben Shapiro, Pompeo said there is a “substantial chance” that Navalny was poisoned under orders from senior Russian officials:
“People all around the world see this kind of activity for what it is. And when they see the effort to poison a dissident, and they recognize that there is a substantial chance that this actually came from senior Russian, I think this is not good for the Russian people. I think it’s not good for Russia. I think people see this and say this is not the way that countries that want to be powers, that want to be important and play on the global stage, this is not the way that they should engage in activity. They ought to instead promote freedom and democracy.”
The foreign ministers of the G-7 member states (a group which includes Pompeo) released a joint statement which read in part:
“This attack against opposition leader Navalny is another grave blow against democracy and political plurality in Russia. It constitutes a serious threat to those men and women engaged in defending the political and civil freedoms that Russia herself has committed to guarantee.”
The Russian government denied involvement in Navalny’s poisoning, and the Russian doctors who treated him said they didn’t find any poison in his system. Navalny believes he was poisoned by the Russian government to prevent him from undermining their efforts to dominate parliamentary elections.
German, French, and Swedish laboratories reached a consensus that Navalny was “beyond doubt” poisoned with a Novichok-type nerve agent. Novichok agents were developed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War and can kill their target with a small amount of poison.
This legislation has the support of 30 bipartisan cosponsors, including 25 Democrats and five Republicans. It passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee on a voice vote.
Summary by Eric Revell(Photo Credit: Evgeny Feldman / Novaya Gazeta via Wikimedia / Creative Commons)