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Germany claims blogger Navalny was poisoned with Novichok class agent

Berlin will provide new information in the Alexei Navalny case to its partners in the European Union and international organizations, the German cabinet said in a statement on Wednesday

BERLIN, September 2. /TASS/. Germany’s cabinet claimed on Wednesday that German military toxicologists had found traces of a nerve agent of the Novichok family in the body of blogger Alexei Navalny. Berlin called on Moscow to explain the incident with Navalny and promised to inform the Russian ambassador on results of the lab tests.

Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told TASS that the Kremlin was unaware of the German authorities’ conclusions that blogger Alexei Navalny was allegedly poisoned with the Novichok toxic agent. The Russian Foreign Ministry pointed out that Moscow was still waiting for a reply from Germany to a request filed by the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office for information about Navalny. Earlier, Russia had reiterated that it was interested in investigating the incident. A source told TASS that Russian forensic experts had not found any poisonous or toxic chemicals in Navalny’s system and on his belongings. Moreover, during an inquiry the police had found no evidence of intentional infliction of bodily harm to Navalny.

The German Cabinet’s spokesperson Steffen Seibert said that Germany will brief the European Union, NATO and the OPCW about latest information on the incident with Navalny and will "discuss an appropriate joint response with the partners in the light of the Russian response." However, he did not elaborate on what steps could be taken.

Nevertheless, a few hours prior to this announcement, German government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer said that it was inappropriate to link the implementation of Nord Stream 2 with the situation around Navalny. She referred to the words of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who said last week that Nord Stream 2 is a purely economic project and it should be completed.

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 the German hospital Charite. On August 24, German doctors said that indicators of cholinesterase inhibitors had been found in his body. The doctors added that his life was not in danger but long-term complications for his nervous system could not be ruled out.