European Union parliament demands Russian Federation sanctions over Navalny

A still from a video showing water bottles that Alexei Navalny says were tainted with poison in his hotel room in Tomsk Siberia. Alexei Navalny  Instagram

A still from a video showing water bottles that Alexei Navalny says were tainted with poison in his hotel room in Tomsk Siberia. Alexei Navalny Instagram

Navalny fell critically ill on a flight from Tomsk to Moscow nearly a month ago and was later airlifted to Berlin in an induced coma.

Despite this, a member of Navalny's team told CNN that the water bottle was not necessarily the item used to poison the Kremlin critic, suggesting the substance could have been placed on a different object.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation sources told Business Insider that there was "no other explanation" except that Moscow ordered the hit against Navalny, who is recovering in a Berlin hospital after allegedly being poisoned with a water bottle in Siberia last month.

The discovery "means that Navalny was poisoned before he left the hotel and not in the airport or on the plane", Yarmysh said.

Georgy Alburov, a close colleague of Navalny who inspected his hotel room in Tomsk along with other associates, said in a live broadcast on YouTube that German experts said the bottle wasn't the source of the Novichok and only had a trace amount of the nerve agent, probably left by Navalny when he drank from it after he had already been poisoned. This (raises) an additional question: "why?" said Peskov.

When asked if Berlin could transfer the bottles to Russian Federation as potential evidence, Seibert said there was nothing to add to the statements of German toxicology experts and statements of France and Sweden.

"A decision was made to take everything that could hypothetically be useful for the investigation, and pass it to the doctors in Germany", the post reads.

After Navalny became suddenly ill during an August 20 flight to Moscow, his spokeswoman, Kira Yarmysh, initially said she suspected a cup of tea he drank at an airport cafe in Tomsk that morning was laced with poison because it was the only thing she saw him eat or drink.

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Navalny has led nationwide protests against Russian President Vladimir Putin, and has been attacked with a unsafe chemical and fallen ill in Russian custody in the past.

The Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is also taking steps to have samples from Navalny tested at its designated labs.

The head of Russia's foreign intelligence service, Sergey Naryshkin, on Monday, said all Novichok stocks in Russian Federation had been destroyed and insisted there was no evidence Navalny had been poisoned. His spokeswoman has said he intends to return to Russian Federation once he recovers.

Russian Federation has carried out pre-investigation checks, but said it needs to see more medical analysis before it can open a formal criminal investigation.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said any move to create sanctions in Navalny's name would be "manifestly anti-Russian" and accused Western governments of not wanting to find out the truth about what happened to him.

Novichok was likewise utilized in a March 2018 attack on previous Russian spy Sergei Skripal in the English city of Salisbury.

Members of the OPCW agreed in November 2019 to expand the agency's list of banned "Schedule 1" chemicals for the first time to include the Novichok family of nerve agents.

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