French, Swedish laboratories confirm Navalny Novichok poisoning

The German government announced on Monday that laboratories in France and Sweden have confirmed its own findings that Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent. Berlin was still waiting for the outcome of a separate evaluation by the OPCW global chemical weapons watchdog.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said in a statement that Germany had asked France and Sweden "for an independent review of the German evidence (of Novichok poisoning) on the basis of new samples from Mr Navalny," who is receiving treatment in Berlin.

"The results of this review at specialised laboratories in France and Sweden are now available and confirm the German evidence (of Novichok poisoning)," Seibert said, cited by AFP. He added On the basis of the findings by the three European laboratories, however, Seibert said Germany was "renewing its call for Russia to make a declaration on the events" of the Navalny case. "We are in close contact with our European partners about further steps," he added.

The Kremlin has denounced attempts to blame the Russian state for the poisoning as "absurd" and said it wants to know what happened. Western politicians have said the incident appears likely to have been state-ordered and urged Moscow to prove its lack of involvement.

 

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