Belarus (AP) leader Alexei Navalnys has improved so he is now able to leave his bed for a while, the Berlin hospital treating him said on Monday, while Germany announced that French and Swedish laboratories have confirmed the findings. his that he was poisoned with Nervous Agent of the Soviet era Novichok.
Navalny, the most prominent opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was flown to Germany two days after falling ill on August 20 on a domestic flight to Russia and is being treated at the Berlin Charite Hospital. Berlin has demanded that Russia investigate the matter.
Charite said Navalny has now been successfully removed from mechanical ventilation.
He is currently undergoing mobilization and is able to leave his bed for short periods of time, he added.
Monday’s statement did not address the long-term perspective of the 44-year-old Russian politician and anti-corruption investigator. Doctors have warned that although Navalny is recovering well, long-term health problems from poisoning cannot be ruled out.
The Kremlin has eaten up calls from German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other world leaders for Russia to answer questions about the poisoning, denying any official involvement and accusing the West of trying to slander Moscow.
Earlier Monday, the German government said tests by laboratories in France and Sweden had backed up earlier findings by a German military laboratory that Navalny had been poisoned with Novichok, the same class of Soviet-era agent that British authorities said was used for the former. -Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, England, in 2018.
The Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is also taking steps to test samples from Navalny in its reference laboratories, said German government spokesman Steffen Seibert.
He said Germany had asked France and Sweden for an independent examination of the findings. German officials said laboratories in both countries, as well as the OPCW, took their new samples from Navalny.
In separate efforts from the OPCW exams, which are still ongoing, three laboratories meanwhile have independently presented evidence to each other that Mr Navalnys’ poisoning was caused by a nerve agent from the Novichok group, Seibert said.
We once again call on Russia to make a statement on the incident, he added. We are consulting closely with our European partners on possible next steps.
Seibert would not identify French and Swedish specialist laboratories. But the head of the Swedish Defense Research Agency, Asa Scott, told the Swedish news agency TT: “We can confirm that we see the same results as the German laboratory, meaning that there is no doubt that these substances are involved.”
French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his deep concern over the criminal act that Navalny targeted during a phone call with Putin on Monday, Macrons’s office said.
Macron confirmed that France reached the same conclusions as its European partners on the poisoning, according to the statement. Clarification is needed from Russia within the framework of a credible and transparent investigation, he added.
The Kremlin said Putin in the call underlined the inadequacy of the baseless allegations against the Russian side and stressed Russia’s request that Germany submit Navalny analysis and samples to Russian experts. Putin also called for joint work on the case by German and Russian doctors.
Russian authorities have urged Germany to share the evidence that led him to conclude without a doubt that Navalny was poisoned with Novichok. Berlin has rejected suggestions from Moscow that it is dragging its heels.
Asked why no samples from Navalny were given to Russia, German Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Adebahr replied that Mr Navalny was in Russian treatment at a hospital for 48 hours.
Once ill, Navalny was treated at a hospital in the Siberian city of Omsk, where Russian doctors said no evidence of poisoning could be found and claimed he was too unstable to transfer. A German charity sent a medical evacuation plane to bring him to Berlin for treatment, which he did after German doctors said he was stable enough to relocate.
There are examples from Mr. Navalny on the Russian side, Adebahr said. The Russian side is called, even after three independent laboratories have decided the result, to explain itself, and Russia has … all the information and all the samples it needs for an analysis.
Navalny was held in an induced coma for more than a week after being treated with an antidote before hospital officials said a week earlier that his condition had improved enough for him to be removed from it.
Frank Jordans in Berlin, Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow, Sylvie Corbet in Paris and Jan M. Olsen in Copenhagen, Denmark contributed to this report.