Skip to main content

Russia: Chemical Weapons

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN HL8969, tabled on 9 October 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the use of Novichok by, and (2) the efficacy of sanctions on, Russia; what plans they have to review those sanctions; and what plans they have to call for the suspension of Russia from international organisations.

Answered on

22 October 2020

We have made clear that it is absolutely unacceptable that a banned chemical weapon has been used. The UK and its partners have agreed that there is no plausible explanation for Mr Navalny's poisoning, other than Russian involvement and responsibility. Russia must hold a full and transparent investigation into the poisoning of one of its citizens on its soil with a banned chemical weapon.

The UK continues to support a robust approach to sanctions in response to Russia's malign actions. Sanctions are an important tool in delivering targeted economic and political pressure in order to change Russian behaviour. The UK will carry over the EU's Russia sanctions regimes as an autonomous UK sanctions regime at the end of the Transition Period and it will be regularly reviewed. The sanctions set out clear conditions for Russia to meet including the full implementation of the Minsk Agreements and the withdrawal of troops from Ukrainian soil. Until this happens sanctions will remain in place. As a fellow Permanent Member of the UN Security Council, we will continue to engage with Russia on matters of international peace and security. But as long as Russia persists in its efforts to undermine our interests and values, we will work with our international partners to continue to deter and counter them.