Germany says France, Sweden confirm Novichok poisoning in Navalny case, World News

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The German government said on Monday that laboratories in France and Sweden had confirmed its own findings that Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny had been poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent.Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesperson Steffen Seibert said in a statement that Germany had asked France and Sweden “for an independent review of German evidence (of poisoning in Novichok) on the basis of new samples from Mr. Navalny ”, who is being treated in Berlin.

See also: The curious case of critics of the Russian Kremlin allegedly poisoned

“The results of this review in specialized laboratories in France and Sweden are now available and confirm the German evidence (of Novichok poisoning),” Seibert said.

“We renew the call to Russia to explain the events. We are in close contact with our European partners on the next steps, ”he added.

Also read: Germany approves Russia’s request for assistance in Navalny probe

The poisoning has taken tensions between Russia and Germany to new heights, fueling calls for the scrapping of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, a flagship Kremlin project to bring Russian gas directly to the Germany under the Baltic Sea.

Previously, prosecutors in Berlin had said they would investigate the Navalny case for suspected poisoning and provide information to Moscow, if he agreed.

Moscow insisted it had seen no evidence that he had been poisoned and said on Friday it would ask to send investigators to Berlin in response to German requests.

The public prosecutor’s office in the German capital said it had been tasked by the regional justice department “to provide legal assistance on the Russian request for legal assistance and to obtain information on the state of health of A . Navalny – subject to his consent ”.

Navalny, President Vladimir Putin’s most prominent critic, was airlifted to Germany last month after falling seriously ill while traveling to Siberia. He is highly unlikely to agree to Germany sharing information with the Russian government, which his supporters have accused of attempted murder.

The Russian Interior Ministry’s transport department in Siberia said it wanted to send investigators to work alongside German colleagues on the case, after learning Navalny was out of a coma.

“This request will include a request for the possible presence of Russian internal affairs investigators … and a Russian specialist when German colleagues conduct investigations with Navalny, doctors and experts,” the ministry said in a statement.

Russia has not opened a criminal investigation and remains true to its position that it first needs hard evidence from Germany that Navalny has been poisoned. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday that the German accusations in the case were “baseless”.

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