- Remains of nerve agent Novichok found in bottle of water in hotel room of Russian opponent Navalny
- According to a video posted by Navalny, his team took various items from the hotel room to inspect.
- “It was done before he left his room to go to the airport,” said a colleague, referring to the poisoning.
Colleagues of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny said Thursday that, following his poisoning, they found a water bottle with remains of the nerve agent Novichok in his hotel room, according to The Associated Press.
Navalny became ill during a flight from Siberia to Moscow on August 20, and was later flown on a medicalized plane to Germany, where he was in induced coma for more than two weeks while being treated with an antidote.
Members of his team accused the Kremlin of involvement in the poisoning, charges that Russian officials have vehemently rejected.
Moscow has been angered by calls from German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other leaders to answer questions about the incident, and urged Berlin to provide evidence of her poisoning.
Navalny published a photo on social media on Tuesday in which he appears in a bed at the Charité Hospital in the German capital, hugged by his wife and two children.
“I still can’t do much, but yesterday I managed to breathe on my own all day,” he added in the text.
A video posted on Instagram profile The opponent on Thursday showed his team working in his hotel room in Tomsk before he left the city and passed out on a flight back to Moscow.
According to the publication, they returned to the room an hour after learning of the incident, accompanied by a lawyer, and took the bottles and other items for inspection.
“Two weeks later, a German laboratory found a trace of Novichok on a bottle in the hotel room in Tomsk,” they said. “And then three other labs that took samples from Alexei showed that he had been poisoned with it. Now we understand: it was done before he left his room to go to the airport ”.
A German military laboratory determined that the Russian opponent was poisoned with Novichok, the same type of substance from the Soviet era that, according to Britain, was used on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, England, in 2018.
Germany has insisted that Russia answer questions about what happened to the politician and the anti-corruption investigator.
For its part, the German government said on Monday that independent analyzes by laboratories in France and Sweden supported its conclusions. The Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons also took steps to analyze samples from Navalny in its designated laboratories.
“The German government is relieved by the latest news from the Charité, according to which Alexei Navalny’s health situation has further improved,” German government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer told reporters on Wednesday. “That is encouraging, and the German government wishes Mr Navalny a speedy and full recovery.”
Demmer declined to say whether German Chancellor Angela Merkel planned to meet Navalny anytime soon. But she confirmed that, despite speaking prominently about the Navalny case, so far she has not discussed it directly with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Kremlin has indicated that the Russian doctors who treated him in the Siberian city of Omsk, where he was transferred after an emergency landing of his plane, found no indications that Navalny had been poisoned.
Russia has repeatedly pressured Germany to share the opponent’s analysis and other medical data and to compare his notes with those of Russian doctors.
The German authorities have responded to Moscow’s request noting that they should already have their own samples given that Navalny was admitted to Omsk for two days.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who canceled his planned trip to Berlin on Tuesday, said in an interview earlier in the week that Russian authorities conducted a preliminary investigation and documented the meetings the opponent held before falling ill, but stressed that investigators must see evidence of the poisoning to begin criminal proceedings.
Lavrov accused the West of trying to smear Russia and using the incident as a pretext to enact new sanctions against Moscow.
He further alleged that Navalny saved his life thanks to the pilots who quickly landed in Omsk after fainting mid-flight and the quick intervention of the doctors there, something that, he said, the Western authorities have not recognized.
Filed Under: Novichok Navalny
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Filed Under: Novichok Navalny
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