FACTS

    The Group of Seven (G7) issued a statement Tuesday regarding the recent confirmed poisoning of a Kremlin political opponent:

    “We, the G7 foreign ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and the High Representative of the European Union, are united in condemning, in the strongest possible terms, the confirmed poisoning of Alexei Navalny.”

    G7 Foreign Ministers’ Statement

    Navalny fell ill on an August 20th flight to Moscow and was eventually transported to a Berlin hospital. It was later confirmed he had been poisoned with a “Novichok” nerve agent from Russia. He is a vocal critic and political opponent of Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin and has been nicknamed “the man Vladimir Putin fears most.”

    RESPONSE

    As of Tuesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that there has been no decision made regarding the Nord Stream 2 agreement with Russia. She has received international pressure to abandon the natural gas pipeline project, as many say that sanctions against Putin are necessary. “We will continue to monitor closely how Russia responds to international calls for an explanation of the hideous poisoning of Mr. Navalny,” said the G7 statement.

    The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board called on Merkel to do more than simply reprimand and demand an investigation, asking, “What are you prepared to do? If it’s nothing, then Vladimir Putin will conclude he will pay no price when opponents turn up dead. There will be no transparent investigation.” Additionally, they criticized President Trump for his “passivity” and called on the US to support Germany in canceling the Nord Stream 2 agreement. Both CNN and Fox News criticized Trump’s response, as well.

    Mateusz Morawiecki, Prime Minister of Poland, has also called on Merkel to stop the project, stating that it “strengthens Russia’s power, helps president Putin to build a military power,” and “helps to intimidate other nations.” The US is calling for the same course of action.

    Putin has denied the poisoning and argues that there is no evidence for it. An article from The Guardian noted, “As usual, the Kremlin is hiding behind a wall of denials and absurd claims.”

    While Navalny is now in stable condition, doctors have said his road to recovery will be lengthy and difficult.

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