Germany says Russia’s Navalny poisoned with nerve agent
September 2, 2020 - Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny, who is in an intensive care unit in Berlin, was poisoned with a nerve agent from the Novichok group, according to tests at a German military laboratory.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said that testing by a special German military laboratory at the request of the Berlin hospital where Navalny remains in a coma showed “proof without doubt of a chemical nerve agent from the Novichok group.”
Navalny, a politician and corruption investigator who is one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s fiercest critics, fell ill on a flight back to Moscow from Siberia on Aug 20 and was taken to a hospital in the Siberian city of Omsk after the plane made an emergency landing.
He was transferred two days later to Berlin’s Charité hospital, where doctors last week said initial tests indicated Navalny had been poisoned.
British authorities identified Novichok as the poison used in 2018 on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in England. The nerve agent is a cholinesterase inhibitor, part of the class of substances that doctors at Charite said last week had shown up in Navalny’s system.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the Russian ambassador was summoned to his ministry Wednesday and told in “unmistakable” terms of Germany’s call for the Navalny case to be investigated “in full and with full transparency.”