During a phone call on Monday, September 14, French President Emmanuel Macron told Russia’s President Vladimir Putin that French specialists have come to the same conclusion as German experts on opposition figure Alexey Navalny’s poisoning, confirming that he was poisoned with a Novichok-type paralytic nerve agent, reports the French newspaper Le Monde, citing an official statement.
During the conversation, Macron called for “immediately shedding light” on the attempt on Navalny’s life. He demanded that the Russian side provide explanations within the framework of a credible and transparent investigation.
According to the Kremlin, the phone call took place at the French president’s initiative. “The current situation surrounding the ’Navalny case’ was thoroughly discussed,” said a statement from the Russian president’s Executive Office. “Vladimir Putin underscored the inappropriateness of unfounded, baseless accusations against the Russian side in this context.”
Putin told Macron that in order to clarify the real circumstances surrounding the incident, Germany needs to transfer Navalny’s biomaterials to Russia, as well as the official results of the analysis of his test samples. In addition, Putin believes that the German specialists need to do work with Russian doctors.
Earlier in the day on Monday, the German government stated that laboratories in France and Sweden had confirmed that a toxic substance from the Novichok group was found in Navalny’s system.
Opposition politician and anti-corruption activist Alexey Navalny was on a flight from Tomsk to Moscow when he fell violently ill on August 20. The plane made an emergency landing in Omsk, where he was hospitalized in a coma; two days later he was transferred to Germany for treatment. On September 2, the German officials confirmed that Navalny was poisoned with a substance from the Novichok group of nerve agents. Navalny’s condition continues to improve: he was brought out of his induced coma on September 7, and successfully taken off of a ventilator on September 14.
Germany handed over the laboratory test results of the samples taken from Navalny to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on September 10. Berlin has no plans to share this data with Russia directly, since the Russian Federation is a OPCW member state.