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UK and Germany to work together to hold Russia to account after Navalny poisoning

FILE PHOTO: Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny takes part in a rally to mark the 5th anniversary of opposition politician Boris Nemtsov's murder and to protest against proposed amendments to the country's constitution, in Moscow, Russia February 29, 2020. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain and German ministers agreed to work together to hold Russia accountable in the case of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, saying any use of Novichok was a violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, a statement from Britain’s foreign office said.

Britain’s Dominic Raab spoke with Germany’s Heiko Maas on Thursday to discuss the poisoning of Navalny.

“The Foreign Secretary and Maas agreed that any use of Novichok was a violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, and therefore a matter of international concern,” a foreign office spokesperson said on Friday.

“They agreed to work together closely, including in the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), to ensure Russia was held accountable for its international obligations.”

Russia said on Thursday the West should not rush to judge it over the poisoning of Navalny and that there were no grounds to accuse it of the crime.

Reporting by William James; editing by James Davey