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Russia opposition leader Alexei Navalny poisoned with Novichok: Germany

Novichok, a class of chemical weapons developed by the former Soviet Union and Russia, was used to poison former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter

Topics
Russia | Alexei Navalny | Vladimir Putin

IANS  |  Berlin 

Alexey Navalny
Alexey Navalny's Foundation for Fighting Corruption has been exposing graft among government officials, including some at the highest level | Photo: Bloomberg

There is "unequivocal proof" that Russian opposition politician was poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent, Germany has said.

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday said he was a victim of attempted murder and the world would look to for answers, the BBC reported.

Navalny was airlifted to Berlin in a coma after falling ill on a flight in Russia's Siberia region last month.

His team says he was poisoned on President Vladimir Putin's orders. The Kremlin has dismissed the allegation.

The Kremlin spokesman called on Germany for a full exchange of information and foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova complained the Novichok allegations were not backed up by evidence. "Where are the facts, where are the formulas, at least some kind of information?" she asked.

A Novichok nerve agent was used to poison former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the UK in 2018. While they survived, a British woman later died in hospital. The UK accused Russia's military intelligence of carrying out that attack.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemned the latest attack as "outrageous". "The Russian government must now explain what happened to Mr Navalny - we will work with partners to ensure justice is done," he tweeted.

After the government in Berlin released results of toxicology tests carried out at a military laboratory, Chancellor Merkel said there were now "serious questions that only the Russian government can and must answer".

"Someone tried to silence [Mr Navalny] and in the name of the whole German government I condemn that in the strongest terms."

Chancellor Merkel said Germany's Nato and EU partners had been informed of the results of the investigation and they would decide on a common and appropriate response based on Russia's reaction.

Navalny's wife Yulia Navalnaya and Russia's ambassador to Germany would also be informed of the findings, the Berlin government said.

The European Union has demanded a "transparent" investigation by the Russian government. "Those responsible must be brought to justice," a statement read.

Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg also called for an inquiry in a tweet, while the US National Security Council (NSC) said the suspected poisoning was "completely reprehensible".

"We will work with allies and the community to hold those in accountable, wherever the evidence leads, and restrict funds for their malign activities," an NSC spokesman said.

--IANS

rt/

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Thu, September 03 2020. 06:32 IST
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