The top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee are calling for an investigation into the poisoning of Alexei Navalny, an outspoken critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Mr. Navalny was transported to Germany for medical attention after he fell ill on a flight to Siberia in August. Medical professionals determined he was poisoned by a nerve agent and was discharged from the hospital last week.
Mr. Navalny has maintained that he was poisoned by Kremlin-linked operatives, but Russia has strongly denied his claims.
“I believe that Putin is behind the crime and I don’t have any other versions of what happened,” he told German newspaper Der Spiegel on Thursday.
“You don’t feel any pain but you know you’re dying,” he said when he recalled when the nerve agent began to take effect.
Top U.S. lawmakers are now calling for an investigation incident that they say may have violated international law.
“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,” Sens. Jim Risch, Idaho Republican and chairman of the panel, and Robert Menendez, New Jersey Democrat and ranking member of the panel, said in a letter President Trump.
They requested that the White House 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.”
The lawmakers said the incident is “particularly disturbing” and pointed to the connection of the Novichok agent that was also used in the March 2018 poisonong of Sergei Skripal in England.
“In that instance, your administration concluded that the Russian government was behind the attack and thus subject to sanctions,” they said. “The United States must again make clear that any such behavior is not acceptable.”