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Germany says nerve agent Novichok found in Russia’s Navalny | Germany News



The German government says tests performed on samples taken from prominent Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny showed the presence of the Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said in a statement on Wednesday that testing by a special German military laboratory had shown proof of a “chemical nerve agent from the Novichok group”.

Russian presidential spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Russia was not informed of German findings and has no such data, the TASS news agency reported.

Novichok – a military grade nerve agent – was used to poison former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Britain. It is a cholinesterase inhibitor, part of the class of substances that doctors at the Charite initially identied in Navalny.

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 August 20 and was taken to a hospital in the Siberian city of Omsk after the plane made an emergency landing.

He was later transferred to Berlin’s Charite hospital, where doctors last week said there were indications he had been poisoned.

Seibert said the German government will inform its partners in the European Union and NATO about the test results. He said it will consult with its partenrs in light of the Russian response “on an appropriate joint response”.

Navalny’s allies in Russia have insisted he was deliberately poisoned by the country’s authorities, accusations the Kremlin rejected as “empty noise”.

The Russian doctors who treated Navalny in Siberia have repeatedly contested the German hospital’s conclusion, saying they had ruled out poisoning as a diagnosis and their tests for poisonous substances came back negative.

Al Jazeera and news agencies

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