French President Emmanuel Macron's office said on Monday, September 14 that after the completion of an independent analysis by France, it was found that Alexei Navalny, the critic of the Kremlin, was poisoned with a Soviet-style nerve agent from the Novichok group.
The confirmation from France came along with another news from the Berlin hospital which has been treating Navalny. The hospital said that his condition is improving. However, Emmanuel Macron's office said in a statement after holding a telephone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin that the French president "expressed his deep concern over the criminal act perpetrated against Alexei Navalny and the imperative that all light be shed, without delay, on the circumstances and responsibilities of this attempted assassination."
Joint Effort to Find the Truth
Earlier, Germany said that laboratories in Sweden and France independently supported German results from earlier this month. But until now, Macron or his office had not made any official statement regarding the findings.
On Monday, the president's office said that Macron has expressed his "full solidarity with Germany" on further actions and the consequences to be drawn from the current situation. The office also added that "clarification is needed from Russia in the context of a credible and transparent investigation."
The Old School Assassination Attempt Failed
On Monday, Charite hospital said that Navalny has been successfully removed from mechanical ventilation and he is currently able to briefly leave his bed. On September 7, doctors removed him from a medically induced coma but they also said even though Navalny's condition has improved, it was not clear what would be the long-term effects of the "severe poisoning."
Germany has asked Kremlin to conduct a transparent investigation into the poisoning after reviews by independent laboratories in France and Sweden confirmed that the 44-year-old Russian opposition leader was poisoned with a nerve agent.
The German government said in a statement on Monday that "three laboratories have now independently provided evidence" of a nerve agent from the Novichok group as the cause of Navalny's poisoning. "We renew the call for Russia to explain what has happened. We are in close contact with our European partners on further steps," added the statement.
As per reports, in response to these findings of the assassination attempt on Navalny, Kremlin said that his case was "thoroughly discussed" with President Putin, emphasizing the "inappropriateness of unfounded" allegations against the Russian side.
In 2018, a similar incident happened in UK's Salisbury, when a former Russian spy and his daughter were found seriously ill on a bench. Further investigation revealed that both of them--Sergei Skripal and Yulia--were poisoned by a nerve agent and this attack left them hospitalized for weeks.
Investigators said that the pair first came into contact with the nerve agent 'Novichok' at the front door of their home, and the traces of Novichok were also found at the Mill and Zizzi, where the Skripals spent the afternoon.