Russian opposition leader Navalny was poisoned with Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok: Germany

WION Web Team
New Delhi, IndiaUpdated: Sep 02, 2020, 10:09 PM IST
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It is likely that Navalny was poisoned with a Soviet-era nerve agent called “Novichok”.

German government on Wednesday said that based on the tests performed on Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, it is likely that he was poisoned with a Soviet-era nerve agent called “Novichok”.

One of Russian President Vladimir Putin's fiercest critics, Navalny fell sick on a flight from Siberia to Moscow on August 20, after which he was taken to a hospital in the city of Omsk in Siberia following an emergency landing.

As international pressure mounted, he was shifted to Berlin's Charite hospital. Doctors had claimed last week that he was most possibly poisoned.

Steffen Seibert the spokesperson to German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday said that after testing by a military laboratory, it was ascertained that “a chemical nerve agent from the Novichok group" was used on Navalny.

Novichok was notoriously famous during the Soviet era, and was also used to poison former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter who were then in Britain.

A cholinesterase inhibitor, it is part of a grouping of substances that the doctors had identified in Navalny after he was moved to Germany.

During the statement, Seibert added that they intended to inform the European Union and NATO about the results of Navalny's test. Additionally, Seibert pleged to consult with Russia to reach an "appropriate joint response".

Russia has continuously rejected accusing of deliberate poisoning by the country, calling the accusations "empty noise". Russian doctors who had treated Navalny in Siberia have repeatedly claimed that poisoning was ruled out as no trace of poisonous substances was found in his body.

The Kremlin on Wednesday said that Russia was ready to cooperate with Germany over the alleged poisoning of Alexei Navalny.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, "In general we confirm that we are ready and have an interest in full cooperation and exchange of data on this topic with Germany" reported by RIA Novosti state news agency.