3 labs have independently confirmed Putin critic Navalny was poisoned with Novichok, Germany says


Two additional labs have confirmed that Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was poisoned with Novichok, Germany has announced.

Germany earlier this month said that the prominent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who fell ill on a flight to Moscow in August, was poisoned with the Soviet-era nerve agent, citing test results from a German military lab. On Monday, Germany said specialist labs in both France and Sweden have confirmed this finding, The Associated Press reports.

"Three laboratories have now confirmed independently of one another the proof of a nerve agent of the Novichok group as the cause of Mr. Navalny's poisoning," Steffen Seibert, a spokesperson for the German government, said. Seibert called for Russia to "explain itself" and said "we are in close consultation with our European partners on further steps." An examination by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is ongoing, Germany also said.

Navalny was taken to Germany for treatment after previously being hospitalized in Russia, and last week, the Berlin hospital said he was out of a medically induced coma.

G7 countries have condemned Navalny's poisoning "in the strongest possible terms," while Russia has claimed a "massive disinformation campaign" is underway and that "unfounded attacks on Russia are continuing." Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last week said there is a "substantial chance" that senior Russian officials were responsible for Navalny's poisoning.

"People all around the world see this kind of activity for what it is," Pompeo said.