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German, Swedish Labs Confirm Navalny Poisoned by Russian Nerve Agent

By VOA News September 14, 2020

The German government said Monday two more laboratories in France and Sweden have independently confirmed that Kremlin critic and opposition leader Alexei Navalny was poisoned with the Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok.

Speaking at a news briefing in Berlin, government spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters that, along with the German lab analysis, there are now three independent labs that have confirmed how Navalny was poisoned. "All indications are absolutely clear a poisoning situation has occurred in Russia."

Seibert said, "The Russian side is called upon now that three independent labs confirmed the result to declare themselves. Because Navalny had been treated for 48 hours in Russia before being transferred and the Russians have the same samples as the other labs."

Russia has denied any involvement with the poisoning and accused the West of a smear campaign.

The 44-year-old Navalny fell ill on a Russian domestic flight on August 20 and was transferred to Germany two days later for specialist treatment at Berlin's Charite hospital. Berlin has demanded that Russia investigate the case. Navalny had been kept in an induced coma for more than a week as he was treated with an antidote before hospital officials said a week ago that his condition had improved enough for him to be brought out of it.

Doctors have cautioned that even though he is recovering well, long-term problems cannot be ruled out.

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