Sep 14, 2020 - World

Labs in France and Sweden confirm Navalny was poisoned with Novichok

Navalny.
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny speaks with journalists in 2019. Photo: MAXIM ZMEYEV/AFP via Getty Images

Specialist labs in France and Sweden have confirmed that Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was poisoned with a nerve agent from the Novichok group, the German government announced Monday.

Why it matters: The chemical is typically associated with Russian security services and was used in the attempted assassination in 2018 of Sergei Skripal, a Russian former double agent who had relocated to the U.K. The Kremlin has denied wrongdoing.

What they're saying: “The results of the tests have revealed unequivocal proof of the presence of a chemical nerve agent from the Novichok group. This constitutes a severe violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)," the German government said in a statement.

  • "The Federal Government has therefore requested that the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) help analyst evidence related to to the Navalny case."
  • "We once again call on Russia to make a statement on the incident. We are closely consulting with our European partners regarding possible next steps."

The state of play: Navalny has been taken out of his medically induced coma by German doctors. He is no longer on a ventilator and is able to get up from his hospital bed, according to an update from his spokesperson on Monday.

Go deeper: White House calls poisoning of Navalny "completely reprehensible"

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