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‘Western brand’: more than 20 nations possess over 140 ‘Novichok’-type substances, Russian Foreign Ministry says

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FILE PHOTO: Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny goes downstairs at Charite hospital in Berlin, September 19, 2020
OPCW says it found traces of Novichok-class substance in blood & urine samples of Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny

The alleged poisoning of a Russian blogger turned Kremlin critic has lately soured relations between Russia and Germany.

Navalny was in coma between August 20 and September 7 after falling ill on a flight from Siberia to Moscow. He was first hospitalized in the Russian city of Omsk, where the medics managed to stabilize him but did not find any traces of any particular poison in his body. Later, he was transferred to the Berlin’s Charité clinic on family’s request.

The German authorities then claimed he was targeted in a poisoning attack and demanded Moscow provide some “answers” to this case, threatening Moscow with a swift response in the form of sanctions. Germany’s western allies, including the UK, France and the US also rushed to link the incident to Russia while Navalny himself was quick to blame Kremlin for the ordeal, without providing any evidence. 

Lately, the OPCW confirmed its specialists found some substances in Navalny’s blood and urine that have “structural characteristics” similar to those of the ‘Novichok’ group. Moscow now expects to receive some information on the case from the international chemical weapons watchdog. 

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