German Gov't Claims Three Labs 'Independently Confirmed' Navalny Was Poisoned With Novichok
Russia has repeatedly called on the German authorities to share data on Alexei Navalny's condition. However, Berlin has refused to transfer any documents on the case, claiming it was 'a state secret'.by by Henry Batyaev
Three laboratories have independently confirmed the presence of traces of a Novichok-like substance in Alexei Navalny's system, the German government said in a statement on Monday.
According to the government's spokesperson Steffen Seibert, special laboratories in France and Sweden have detected the nerve agent in Navalny's body, confirming Germany's findings.
"We renew the call for Russia to explain itself on the events. We are in close contact with our European partners on further steps," Seibert said in a statement.
The spokesperson added that Germany involved the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in the analysis of the evidence in the situation of Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny.
Seibert said that the German government will not specify which French and Swedish laboratories have confirmed Berlin's claims that Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny was poisoned.
"I cannot give right here any information beyond the statement that we have made. These are specialized laboratories," Seibert said when asked about the facilities in question.
Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron told President Putin over the phone that the analysis performed in France showed that Navalny had been poisoned with a Novichok-type substance, the French government announced on Monday.
On 20 August, Navalny's health suddenly deteriorated while he was onboard a domestic Russian flight. After undergoing treatment in Russia for two days, Navalny, a Russian opposition figure and outspoken Kremlin critic, was transported to the Berlin-based Charite hospital for further treatment.
Earlier this month, German doctors claimed Navalny's samples contained traces of a nerve agent from the Novichok group. Russian doctors, who initially treated the man, said they had found no traces of any toxin in his system and diagnosed him with a metabolic dysfunction caused by a drop in the blood sugar levels.
According to the Russian authorities, Berlin has so far provided Moscow with neither an official notification on the findings, nor assistance in the investigation launched by the Russian law enforcement immediately upon Navalny's initial emergency hospitalisation in Russia.
One of Novichok's developers said that Navalny's symptoms were inconsistent with poisoning by this toxin.