Foreign labs confirm the use of Novichok nerve agent in poisoning of Alexei Navalny

Independently of the ongoing examinations by the OPCW, three laboratories have now confirmed independently of one another the proof of a nerve agent of the Novichok group as the cause of Mr. Navalny's poisoning.

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Specialist labs in France and Sweden have confirmed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was poisoned with the Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok, the German government said Monday. A German military laboratory previously confirmed the substance in his samples.

German government spokesman Steffen Seibert also said that the Hague-based Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is taking steps to have samples from Navalny tested at its reference laboratories. Independently of the ongoing examinations by the OPCW, three laboratories have now confirmed independently of one another the proof of a nerve agent of the Novichok group as the cause of Mr. Navalny’s poisoning, Seibert said in a statement.

He said Germany had asked France and Sweden for an independent review of the German findings. German officials said labs in both countries, as well as the OPCW, took their own new samples. Navalny, the most prominent opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was flown to Germany two days after falling ill on Aug. 20 on a domestic flight in Russia and is being treated at Berlin’s Charite hospital. Berlin has demanded that Russia investigate the case.

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