- The OPCW's findings back up the conclusions of Navalny's German doctors.
- Germany received the OPCW report on Monday, and that it was still being examined.
- Russia has denied any and all involvement in Navalny's poisoning.
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) made an announcement Tuesday to the effect that it had discovered Novichok-like substances thanks to tests it had conducted on Russian opposition politician, Alexei Navalny. He was hospitalized in Berlin after he was allegedly poisoned.
The OPCW’s findings back up the conclusions of Navalny’s German doctors. The organization, based in The Hague, Netherlands, announced that Navalny’s blood samples, as well as his urine, contained traces of the chemical type Novichok, which was banned in 2019 by the very organization.
The director of OPCW, Fernando Arias, in a statement said that he considered the results to be “a matter of grave concern.” The “technical assistance” from OPCW was officially requested by Germany after its consideration that in the Navalny case, the use of chemical weapons had been employed.
The OPCW has got 193 member states committed to permanently and verifiably eliminate chemical weapons. More than 25 years ago, the member states signed the United Nations Convention on Chemical Weapons, which they deemed important to uphold.
In Berlin, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman confirmed the information by the organization, and stated that it squarely coincided with analyses carried out by Germany and other countries.
In a statement, Steffen Seibert said that the OPCW conclusions “agree with the results already from special laboratories in Germany, Sweden and France.” Moscow has contested those conclusions.
“This once again confirms unequivocally that Alexei Navalny was the victim of an attack with a chemical nerve agent from the Novichok group,” Seibert added. He renewed Germany’s calls to Russia to investigate and explain what happened to Navalny, 44, who fell ill on a flight in Russia and was later sent to Berlin, where he was treated at a hospital.
The spokesman revealed that Germany received the OPCW report on Monday, and that it was still being examined. Seibert added that in the coming days, Germany will promote consultations with OPCW and a group of European Union partners to decide on the next steps. “Any use of chemical weapons is serious and cannot be without consequences,” said Seibert.
A few days ago, the firebrand Russian opposition activist and politician laid the blame squarely on Russian president Vladimir Putin, stating that he strongly believes the Russian president was squarely behind his poisoning.
“I assert that Putin is behind this act, I don’t see any other explanation,” Navalny stated categorically in an interview with the German newspaper, Der Spiegel.
Novichok is a neurotoxin and one of a group of seven binary chemical weapons developed by the Soviet Union and Russia. It is particularly dangerous, and was used in 2018 to poison the former spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter, Yulia, in Salisbury, England. The Kremlin denied any responsibility, and the case caused a diplomatic crisis.
A month after being admitted to Berlin in a condition considered serious, Navalny was authorized on September 23 to leave the hospital. He intends to continue his recovery in Germany.