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OPCW Claims Chemical Substances in Navalny's Blood, Water Bottle From Omsk Hotel Identical

© AFP 2022 / EVERT-JAN DANIELSJournalists wait at the entrance of the headquarters of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague, The Netherlands, on April 18, 2018.
Journalists wait at the entrance of the headquarters of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague, The Netherlands, on April 18, 2018. - Sputnik International, 1920, 19.10.2021
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BERLIN (Sputnik) - The chemical substance found in the blood of Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny is identical to the one detected in a water bottle from a Russian hotel he stayed at, according to a note from the German permanent representation to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
"The traces found by German experts on the water bottle which had been collected from Mr Navalny's hotel room are identical with the traces found in the biomedical samples taken from Mr Navalny," the statement said.
The United States and 44 other countries sent a list of questions to Russia about the incident with Navalny through the OPCW. Moscow sent a counter request addressed to Germany, France, Sweden and the technical secretariat of the organization. Among other things, Russia asked for clarification on why its investigators cannot question Navalny's ally Maria Pevchikh, a UK citizen with alleged ties to the British intelligence, who accompanied him on the flight to Berlin. A bottle she bought at a departure zone of a Russian airport was later submitted as evidence of his attempted poisoning.
However, the German mission refused to comment on the role of Pevchikh in the incident, noting that Berlin has no knowledge of her status or whereabouts.
As for the questions of why the bottle was not provided to the Russian side for investigation and why the chemical substance ended up on an item purchased in a departure zone of an airport, the mission replied that it was up to Russia to find out since the events took place on the Russian soil. "This does not require the possession of the bottle," according to the mission.
Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny attends a hearing to consider an appeal against an earlier court decision to change his suspended sentence to a real prison term, in Moscow, Russia February 20, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 19.10.2021
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Germany, France, and UK Missions in OPCW Reject Russia's Accusations on Navalny Case
Moscow further inquired why it still had no information on the exact formula of the chemicals found in Navalny's blood and on the bottle, to which the German side referred to an older report of the OPCW technical assistance visit to Berlin, which stated that the substance was "acting as a cholinesterase inhibitor" and was structurally similar to the toxic chemicals of the Novichok family.
"Germany considers that information to be fully sufficient for the Russian authorities, who are in the possession of their own biomedical samples from Mr Navalny and thus have all necessary information at their disposal ton launch an investigation of the case and of the events that took place on Russian territory," the document concluded.
The Swedish mission in its response to Moscow's request also referred to Germany's answer concerning the exact formula of the chemical allegedly used to poison Navalny.
Last August, Navalny fell ill on a domestic Russian flight. He was initially treated in the Siberian city of Omsk, where the plane made an emergency landing. Based on the results of the examinations, the Omsk doctors concluded that Navalny had a metabolic disorder, while no poison substances were found in his blood and urine.
Several days later, Navalny was flown to the Charite hospital in Berlin for further treatment. The German government claimed that doctors found traces of a nerve agent of the Novichok type in his system. A number of countries and media outlets speculated that there was evidence of foul play by Moscow. Russia has since denied any involvement in the case.
Moscow believes that the incident was a provocation aimed at discrediting Russia, since Berlin is yet to show any tangible evidence in support of its accusations. Moscow has also pointed out multiple times that the OPCW ignored Russian requests for assistance, hindering the investigation.
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