Russian opposition leader Navalny poisoned with Novichok, says Germany

Berlin, Sep 2 (efe-epa).- Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent, the German government said Wednesday.

The 44-year-old is in a coma in a German hospital where he was airlifted after falling ill in Siberia last month.

German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said toxicological tests at the Charité University Hospital in Berlin revealed he had been exposed to a deadly nerve agent.

“It is a dismaying event that Alexei Navalny was the victim of an attack with a chemical nerve agent in Russia,” he said in a statement.

“The German government condemns this attack in the strongest terms.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said there will be an adequate common response from the international community as it goes against fundamental rights and values.

She made the statement after visiting the hospital where Navalny is being treated.

Merkel met earlier with key members of her cabinet to discuss the Navalny case and coordinate what steps will be taken.

Initial examinations had found symptoms that Navalny had been poisoned but it had not been possible to specify the substance that had been used.

The Charité hospital sought collaboration from a German army laboratory to carry out further analyses.

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