07:27 GMT22 October 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said on Monday it would be ready to send a team of technical experts to Russia to participate in the investigation into the alleged poisoning of Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny, as per Moscow's request.

    "On 2 October, OPCW Director-General, H.E. Mr Fernando Arias, responded to this request through a letter addressed to the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the OPCW. He assured Russian Federation authorities that the Technical Secretariat is ready to provide the requested expertise and that a team of experts could be deployed on short notice," the organization said in a press release.

    Arias has asked Moscow to clarify "the type of expertise contemplated under the Chemical Weapons Convention and relevant OPCW policy-making organ decisions," as cited in the press release.

    The OPCW chief further thanked Russia for the "trust in the Technical Secretariat’s independence and expertise" to assist it with the investigation.

    Russia requested cooperation from the OPCW Technical Secretariat in clarifying what had happened to Navalny last Thursday.

    Prior to that, the OPCW disclosed that it was providing technical assistance to Berlin on the situation around Alexei Navalny, with the Russian Foreign Ministry slamming the move, as the organisation hadn't received Russia's direct consent.  

    Situation Around Russian Opposition Figure Alexei Navalny

    After Navalny was at his family's request transported while still in a coma to a Berlin hospital from Omsk in Russia's Siberia, where he had initially received medical assistance, Germany claimed, citing its lab test results, that he had been poisoned with a Novichok-type nerve agent that made him collapse on 20 August on board a Moscow-bound plane, half an hour after it took off from Tomsk.

    Last month, President Putin told his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron during a phone talk that groundless accusations against Moscow regarding the situation with Navalny were unacceptable and that Germany had to share its case materials with Russia so that the matter could effectively be resolved.

    Russian doctors found no toxic substances in Navalny's system before he was transported to Germany, adding that Berlin had provided no tangible evidence to ground its claims.

    Russia insists that it has not produced any Novichok-group substances since the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) verified the destruction of the country's chemical weapons stocks in the early 1990s.

    Alexei Navalny was discharged from the German hospital Charite on 23 September and is expected to soon make a full recovery, after which, he said, he is determined to return to Russia.

    Tags:
    poisoning, Alexei Navalny, opposition, Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Russia
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