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Merkel calls on “transparent” Navalny investigation, confirms meeting with Belarus opposition

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel confirmed she plans to hold talks with Belarus opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya “soon” during a speech at the Bundestag, in Berlin on Wednesday.

The announcement came a day after French President Emmanuel Macron met with Tikhanovskaya on Tuesday morning during a visit to Lithuania.

The chancellor also praised women protesters in Belarus: “When you see the courage shown by the women on the streets for a free life without corruption, then I can only say: I admire that and find it truly impressive.

Merkel also called in her speech for a “transparent and full” investigation of the alleged poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

“We are waiting for the results of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and then will discuss with the European Union necessary response,” she said.

SOT, Angela Merkel, German Chancellor (German): “We advocate for freedom of speech and human rights and we will talk about this in the EU Council regarding the ongoing situation in Belarus. We don’t recognise the election of President Lukashenko. We ask him to start a dialogue with his people without any interference from the West or the East. And we condemn what’s happening there on a daily basis, the undermining of democratic procedures, violence against the opposition. I will meet with Tikhanovskaya soon. When you see the courage shown by the women on the streets for a free life without corruption, then I can only say: I admire that and find it truly impressive.”

*CUTAWAY* SOT, Angela Merkel, German Chancellor (German): “The same principles apply for our relations with Russia. We have already applied to Russia and I will do it once again today to investigate the attack against Alexei Navalny transparently and fully. That’s not a bilateral matter, it’s a crime that was committed on the territory of Russia. That was a breach of the convention on chemical weapons and that’s why it’s an international matter. We are waiting for the results of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and then will discuss with the European Union the necessary response.” M/S Camera operators

Video ID: 20200930-019

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