Although he noted the improvement in Navalny’s health, the statement did not address the long-term prospects for the anti-corruption activist and most prominent opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Earlier, doctors warned that although Navalny was recovering, long-term health problems could not be ruled out.
The Kremlin has brimmed at calls by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other leaders to answer questions about the poisoning, denying any official involvement.
The news of Navalny’s condition came when his aides made some profit from Sunday’s regional elections in Russia.
In Novosibirsk, which Navalny visited before he fell ill, the head of his regional headquarters, Sergei Boyko, won a seat on the city council. United Russia, the main party in the Kremlin, which Navalny called the “party of crooks and thieves,”
The German government says laboratory tests in France and Sweden have backed German military lab findings that Navalny was poisoned with Novichok, the same class of Soviet-era agent Britain said was used on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, England, in 2018.
The Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is also taking steps to test Navalny’s samples in the laboratories it has designated, said German government spokesman Steffen Seibert.
He said Germany had asked France and Sweden to independently verify the findings. German officials say laboratories in both countries, as well as the OPCW, have taken new samples from Navalny.
“In an effort separate from the ongoing OPCW examinations, meanwhile, three laboratories have provided evidence that Mr Navalny’s poisoning was caused by a nerve agent from the Novichok group,” Seibert said.
“Once again, we call on Russia to make a statement on the incident,” he added. “We are consulting closely with our European partners on possible next steps.”
Seibert would not identify the French and Swedish laboratories. But the head of the Swedish Defense Research Agency, Asa Scott, told the Swedish news agency TT: “We can confirm that we see the same results as the German laboratory, so there is no doubt that these substances are involved.”
French President Emmanuel Macron expressed “deep concern over the criminal act” directed at Navalny during a phone call Monday with Putin, Macron’s cabinet said.
He confirmed that France had reached the same conclusions as its European partners on the poisoning, the statement said.
The Kremlin said Putin in his appeal “emphasized the failure of unfounded accusations against Russia” and stressed Russia’s request to Germany to provide analyzes and samples. Putin also called for German and Russian doctors to work together.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has accused the West of using the incident as a pretext for imposing new sanctions on Moscow. He said Navalny’s life was saved by the plane’s pilots, who quickly landed in the Siberian city of Omsk when it crashed on board, and by the swift action of doctors there.
“The perfect performance of pilots, ambulance crew and doctors is presented as a ‘happy coincidence’ in the West,” he told RTVI in an interview Monday.
“They dare to question the professionalism of our doctors, our investigators,” he said. “Arrogance and a sense of one’s own infallibility were seen in Europe before and the consequences were very sad.”
Lavrov, who canceled a planned trip to Berlin on Tuesday, said Russian authorities had conducted a preliminary investigation and documented the meetings Navalny had before he fell ill, but stressed that they needed to see evidence of his poisoning to begin fully. criminal investigation.
“We have our own laws, according to which we cannot believe someone’s words in order to initiate a criminal case,” he said, adding that “so far we have no legal basis” for such an inspection.
Berlin rejected Moscow’s suggestions that it was dragging its feet in an exchange of evidence.
With Germany’s findings confirmed by laboratories abroad, “we do not expect the bearer of the bad news – namely us – to be attacked further, but rather to deal with the news itself,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told Russian authorities. .
Asked why Russia had not been given samples by Navalny, German Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Adebach said that “Mr Navalny was on Russian treatment in hospital for 48 hours. “
Russian doctors treating Navalny in Omsk said no evidence of poisoning could be found, adding that he was too unstable to be relocated. A German charity sent a medical evacuation plane to Berlin, which it did after German doctors said it was stable enough to be relocated.
“There are samples from Mr. Navalny on the Russian side,” Adebachr said. “The Russian side is called upon, even after three independent laboratories have established the result, to explain, and Russia has … all the information and all the samples needed for analysis.”
Navalny was kept in an induced coma for more than a week because he was treated with an antidote before hospital officials said a week ago that his condition had improved enough to be taken out of it.