Putin-critic Alexei Navalny says he was poisoned by a bottle of water in his hotel room and NOT a cup of tea at the airport
- Traces of Novichok found in hotel water bottles, Alexei Navalny has claimed
- It was previously thought he was poisoned at the airport before domestic flight
- Russia says it has seen no evidence the Putin critic was poisoned
- OPCW confirmed it has sent experts to collect samples to test for the poison
Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny was poisoned by a bottle of water in his hotel room in the Siberian city of Tomsk, not at the airport as previously thought, his team said alongside a video posted on Navalny’s Instagram account on Thursday.
Navalny fell violently ill on a domestic flight in Russia last month and was subsequently airlifted to Berlin for treatment.
Germany says he was poisoned by a Novichok nerve agent. Russia says it has seen no evidence he was poisoned.
Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny has claimed that a German laboratory found traces of Novichok nerve agent on water bottles provided by the hotel he was staying in
A video posted on Navalny’s Instagram account on Thursday showed the water bottles in the hotel room
Navalny fell violently ill on a domestic flight in Russia last month and was subsequently airlifted to Berlin for treatment
The video shows the room where Navalny stayed before catching the domestic flight, including two empty water bottles that were left on a desk.
The water bottles are seen being placed in plastic bags.
The global chemical weapons watchdog confirmed Thursday that it had sent experts to Germany to collect samples from Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and that results of tests for Novichok poisoning were ‘forthcoming’.
Berlin had formally requested its ‘technical assistance’ over Navalny’s alleged poisoning, the Hague-based Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said.
The West says Kremlin critic Navalny, who is being treated in a Berlin hospital, was poisoned with Novichok and has pushed Russia to shed light on the incident. Moscow denies all involvement.
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny poses with his wife Yulia and their children at the German hospital where he is being treated after being poisoned with Novichok
‘A team of experts from the (OPCW’s) Technical Secretariat independently collected biomedical samples from Mr Navalny for analysis by OPCW designated laboratories,’ the OPCW said in a statement.
‘Results of this analysis are forthcoming and will be shared with the German authorities.’
OPCW chief Fernando Arias earlier this month voiced ‘grave concern’ over the Navalny incident.
Doctors at the Charite hospital (pictured) say Navalny’s condition is improving, after a German military lab found that he had been poisoned with a nerve agent
Germany said on Monday that labs in France and Sweden had confirmed its own finding that the banned weapons-grade substance was used, but that it was awaiting the OPCW’s evaluation.
The Navalny case threatens to cause fresh tensions at the toxic arms watchdog.
Germany could ask the OPCW to use its recently-acquired mandate to attribute blame for chemical attacks – powers that Russia and its allies have bitterly opposed.
Until OPCW member states voted to give the body the new powers in 2018, it was only able to say whether chemical weapons had been used, but not by whom.
Britain drafted in the OPCW for ‘technical assistance’ after former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with Novichok in the city of Salisbury in 2018, but that was before it had the new powers.