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.