BERLIN, September 14. /TASS/. Experts of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), according to its rules, personally took samples from Russian blogger Alexei Navalny for further investigation, German Federal Foreign Office Spokesperson Maria Adebahr stated at a briefing in Berlin.
She emphasized that such issues are regulated by the OPCW rules and that "it is a completely formal procedure." "Guided by this, the OPCW personally took samples from Navalny and will launch the procedure in accordance with Paragraph VIII 38 (e) of the Chemical Weapons Convention," the spokesperson noted. Answering the question whether the reporters understood correctly that the OPCW experts visited the Charite clinic and took samples from the blogger, she answered in the affirmative.
She also specified that all laboratories participating in testing of Navalny’s samples collected them personally.
Earlier on Monday, the German government stated that three independent laboratories, including the ones in France and Sweden, confirmed the presence of a substance from the Novichok family in Navalny’s samples.
Navalny’s ‘poisoning’ saga
Russian blogger Alexei Navalny was hospitalized in Omsk on August 20 after he suddenly felt ill in mid-flight traveling from Tomsk to Moscow. He fell into a coma and was then hooked up to a lung ventilator. Later, he was taken to Berlin and admitted to the Charite clinic.
On September 2, the German government said that German military toxicologists had found that Navalny had been exposed to a nerve agent belonging to the Novichok family. Berlin and its Western partners called on Moscow to clarify the circumstances of the incident and warned they would look into possible sanctions against Moscow. Russia stressed that before Navalny’s departure to Germany no traces of poisonous substances had been found in his samples, while Berlin provided no proof of its version. On September 7, German medics announced that they were able to take Navalny out of his coma and that they gradually plug him off the ventilators.
The Russian side stated that it was interested in a comprehensive investigation of the Navalny case and is ready for cooperation with Germany.
Previously, Germany claimed that it handed over Navalny’s test results to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW); however, Russian mission at the organization reported that the officials’ claims regarding sending materials to the OPCW do not correspond to reality.