Author`s name Oleg Artyukov

Sword of Damocles is hanging heavily above Russian-German relations

Foreign ministers of G7 countries released statement, in which they urged Russia to urgently clarify who is responsible for the poisoning of opposition activist Aleksei Navalny. The G7 believes that Navalny's poisoning is undeniable.

In response, the Russian Foreign Ministry reminded again that Russia was still seeking data from Germany about Navalny's medical examination.

After Navalny's poisoning, the West started discussing sanctions against Russia, paying most attention to the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project at this point.

For the time being, the most obvious part of the story is about the sharp deterioration in relations between Moscow and Berlin. Obviously, they have not been a model of constructive interaction before. In the past few months, Berlin has been actively promoting the topic of the cyber attack on the Bundestag in 2015 and the assassination of former field commander Zelimkhan Khangoshvili last year in Berlin, blaming Russia for what happened.

After the poisoning of Aleksei Navalny with an agent from the Novichok group, as it was announced, the already complicated relations between Russia and Germany became even worse. It is not clear yet, how the two countries are going to overcome the crisis. Moscow wants Germany to provide detailed medical data, given that Russian doctors did not find traces of the combat agent in Navalny's body. Berlin does not provide the requested information making references to a certain procedure that one has to follow in Germany. They also say that they can not disclose all the details of the examination, because it may affect national security.

Berlin takes a tough stance against Russia

"Berlin takes a tough position of political pressure on Moscow. Germany is unwilling to put forward a reasonable suggestion to launch a joint investigation into the medical reasons for what happened to Aleksei Navalny. Moscow does not refuse further investigation. Russia does not say no to what Berlin demands, but at the same time, Russia reasonably puts the horse ahead of the cart and offers to conduct a joint investigation to find out what kind of substances was found in Navalny's body, "Vladislav Belov, the head of the Center for German Studies at the Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told Pravda.Ru.

"Similarly, Moscow invites German doctors to double-check the results of the medical examinations that were conducted in Russia. This seems to be the correct proposition to make, but the political motive confirms that Germany is unwilling to accept Russia's proposals," the expert noted.

"I hope that Berlin will show the reasonable initiative, and doctors will be able to at least start a discussion of what happened. Today the situation has gone far enough, and this situation is not good," Vladislav Belov stated.

Germany is driving itself into a corner

"Germany loves to display humanism before the whole world, especially when it comes to political prisoners or human rights defenders. Germany believes that it is not geopolitical interests, but human rights that have first priority in the EU. However, when Navalny ended up in Germany, and when it was said that he was poisoned with Novichok, geopolitics took over immediately. I do not think that Mrs. Merkel was planning it like that. It worked out that way, and Germany does not really know what to do," German political scientist Alexander Rahr told Pravda.Ru.

"I don't see any logic in the fact that Russia is behind all this. Russia lost the situation out of control  - it should have been investigated in Russia. Navalny's poisoning raised many eyebrows in Russia as people were surprised to see infamous Novichok in the news again. It seems to me that this issue should have been resolved as a result of a general case conference," the expert emphasized.

According to Alexander Rahr, Germany is driving itself into a corner.

"Germany says that Russia is an enemy. Berlin refuses to share secret information with Russia, claiming that German specialists have irrefutable evidence. I think that this is a matter of blatant injustice. I do not see any logic in this," said Alexander Rahr.