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Russia to send inquiry to OPCW in wake of scientist’s open letter in Navalny case

The OPCW headquarters in the Hague, Netherlands EPA-EFE/KOEN VAN WEEL
The OPCW headquarters in the Hague, Netherlands

MOSCOW, February 12. /TASS/. Russia will send an official inquiry to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in the wake of an open letter by scientist Vitaly Kozak who analyzed blogger Alexey Navalny’s case from the viewpoint of medicine and chemistry, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday.

"We are sending an official inquiry to the OPCW, Germany, France and Sweden literally today with a request to comment on the conclusions he made after familiarizing himself with the publications that substantiate and analyze what happened to Alexey Navalny, those biomaterials that were obtained from him and analyzed in the West," Lavrov said in an interview with anchor Vladimir Solovyov on the Solovyov-Live YouTube channel.

"From a purely scientific standpoint he puts forward some questions related to biological and chemical science," Russia’s top diplomat said.

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. Later, he was airlifted to Berlin and admitted to the Charite hospital. 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.

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov repeatedly emphasized that Russia was ready for comprehensive cooperation with Germany and pointed out that no poisonous substances had been detected in Navalny’s system prior to his transfer to Berlin. On January 17, Navalny was detained at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport having arrived from Berlin.