Russian MPs from the Commission on the Investigation of Foreign Interference in Russia’s Internal Affairs will meet today with German Bundestag lawmakers.
Delegates are meeting to continue discussions on the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Relations between Berlin and Moscow have soured since September, when the German government announced that Navalny was poisoned by Novichok, the same nerve agent used in 2018 on Sergei Skripal, the former Russian spy living in the UK. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has confirmed that Navalny was poisoned with Novichok, but Moscow has denied responsibility. In October, the EU sanctioned six Russian officials in response to the poisoning, further angering Russia, which views the issue as a purely German-Russian affair.
These talks are expected to have little effect on softening Russian-German relations. Pro-Russian politicians within the German Social Democratic Party have lost traction in recent years due to Russian interference in German affairs. Russia’s promise to retaliate with its own sanctions on the EU will further exacerbate the situation, leaving little good will between both parties. Expect hardened relations to result in stronger opposition from Berlin on Kremlin domestic and foreign policy, attempts to bolster ties with Eastern Europe and a stronger German commitment to NATO.
Wescott is a Copy-Editor and Senior Analyst. His thematic focuses are international security, politics, economics and public policy.