MOSCOW, September 5. /TASS/. Specialists of numerous Western countries and NATO’s specialized bodies have been working on chemical substances of the Novichok family for many years, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s press office said on Saturday in the wake of some countries’ statements on the situation around Russian blogger Alexei Navalny.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said that multiple statements that are hostile to Russia can be heard concerning Navalny’s health. In particular, the ministry drew attention to a joint statement of the German and French foreign ministers, Heiko Mass and Jean-Yves Le Drian.
"In connection with peremptory allegations that toxic nerve agents, which are called Novichok in the West, were developed in our country [in the Soviet Union - TASS], we must recall the following. Over the years, specialists in many Western countries and in NATO’s specialized bodies have been working on the substances that make up this vast family of chemicals. Moreover, in the United States, for example, more than 150 patents have been officially issued for developers of the technology for their combat use.".
On Wednesday, the German government claimed that having examined Navalny’s test samples the Bundeswehr’s toxicologists had come to a conclusion that the blogger had been affected by a toxic agent of the Novichok family. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia stayed ready for comprehensive cooperation with Germany. He pointed out that no poisonous substances had been detected in Navalny’s system prior to his transfer to Berlin.
The Russian Foreign Ministry stated that Moscow was still waiting for a reply from Germany to the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office’s request. The ministry’s spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said that the German Foreign Office had not provided the Russian ambassador with any proof of its version of the incident.
Navalny was rushed to a local hospital in the Siberian city of Omsk on August 20 after collapsing on the Tomsk-Moscow flight. He fell into a coma and was put on a ventilator in the intensive care unit. On August 22, he was airlifted to Berlin and admitted to the Charite hospital.