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Navalny could have been poisoned in Germany or aboard plane, top diplomat says

According to the foreign minister, it is yet not clear what individuals, besides doctors, were aboard the plane that delivered the blogger to Berlin's Charite clinic

MOSCOW, November 12. /TASS/. Russia cannot exclude a version that blogger Alexey Navalny was poisoned with a military-grade toxic agent either in Germany or on a plane that transported him to Berlin’s Charite hospital, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with Russian and foreign media outlets on the pressing issues of the international agenda on Thursday.

"We have all grounds to believe that everything that happened to him [Navalny] regarding military-grade toxic substances entering his system, may have happened in Germany or aboard a plane where he was loaded and taken to the Charite clinic," the top diplomat noted.

"Questions emerge, what individuals, besides doctors, were aboard this plane," he continued. "This is also an interesting subject for discussion yet probably having to do not so much with the medical issues but rather with who could have been implicated in this story beyond the immediate medical circles," the top diplomat added.

Navalny case

Navalny was rushed to a local hospital in the Siberian city of Omsk on August 20 after collapsing on a Moscow-bound flight from Tomsk. He fell into a coma and was put on a ventilator in an intensive care unit. On August 22, he was airlifted to Berlin and admitted to the Charite hospital. He was discharged on September 22.

On September 2, Berlin claimed that having examined Navalny’s test samples, German government toxicologists had come to the conclusion that the blogger had been affected by a toxic agent belonging to the Novichok family. According to Berlin, these conclusions were confirmed by laboratories in France and Sweden.

On October 6, the OPCW confirmed that biomarkers of the cholinesterase inhibitor found in Navalny’s blood and urine samples have similar structural characteristics to the toxic chemicals added to the Chemical Weapons Convention’s Annex on Chemicals in November 2019. At the same time, the detected substance itself is not listed in this Annex.

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia was 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.