Berlin, where the Kremlin’s number one opponent is hospitalized – a victim of poisoning in Siberia on August 20, according to his entourage – has formally requested “technical assistance” from the international institution based in The Hague, the OPCW announced.
A German military laboratory concluded on September 3 that 44-year-old Aeksei Navalny was poisoned with a noviciok substance designed for military purposes in the Soviet era, allegations that Moscow denies.
A French and a Swedish laboratory confirmed the German findings, and Berlin and Paris again insisted on Monday on the need for a Russian investigation.
Berlin has announced that it is awaiting the OPCW’s assessment.
“A team of experts from the Technical Secretariat independently took biomedical samples from Mr. Navalny, for analysis in the OPCW reference laboratories,” the institution said.
“The results of these analyzes will be known soon and will be communicated to the German authorities,” the OPCW said.
OIAC Director Fernando Arias expressed “serious concern” over Navalny’s case in early September.
This neurotoxic agent has already been used against former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Julia in 2018 in England.
London considers the main suspect Russian military intelligence services GRU.
Navalny’s case risks igniting new tensions within the international institution.
Germany could ask the OPCW to use its new mandate to designate the perpetrators of chemical attacks.
Despite strong objections from Moscow and its allies, a majority of OPCW member states authorized the organization in 2018 to designate the perpetrator of a chemical attack and not just document the use of such a chemical weapon.