NAVALNY TEAM CLAIMS NOVICHOK FOUND IN HOTEL WATER BOTTLE
Colleagues of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny said that a water bottle with a trace of the Novichok nerve agent was found in his hotel room in the Siberian city of Tomsk after he fell ill on a flight from there to Moscow last month, Vladimir Isachenkov reported for the Associated Press (AP).
Navalny later was flown to Germany, where he was kept in an induced coma for more than two weeks as he was treated with an antidote at Berlin’s Charite hospital. Members of his team accused the Kremlin of involvement in the poisoning, charges that Russian officials have vehemently denied.
The Kremlin has bristled at calls from German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other leaders to answer questions about the poisoning, urging Germany to provide its evidence. A German military lab determined that Navalny was poisoned with Novichok, the same class of Soviet-era agent that Britain said was used on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, England, in 2018.
On Monday, the German government said independent tests by labs in France and Sweden backed up its findings. The Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is also taking steps to have samples from Navalny tested at its designated labs.
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