There is “unequivocal proof” that Russian opposition political Alexei Navalny was poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent, Germany has said.
Chancellor Angela Merkel said he was a victim of attempted murder and the world would look to Russia for answer.
Navalny was flown to Berlin after falling ill on a flight in Siberia last month, and remains in a coma. His team says he was poisoned on President Vladimir Putin’s orders. Putin has dismissed the allegations.
Putin’s spokesperson called on Germany for a full exchange of information and foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova complained that the Novichok allegations were not backed up by evidence.
“Where are the facts, where are the formulas, at least some kind of information?” Zakharova asked.
Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and daughter were poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent in the UK in 2018. While they survived, a British woman was not so lucky and later died in hospital. The UK accused Russia’s military intelligence of carrying out that attack.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson had condemned the latest attack as “outrageous”.
“The Russian government must now explain what happened to Mr Navalny – we will work with international partners to ensure justice is done,” said Johnson in Twitter post.