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Germany: Putin Critic Alexey Navalny Poisoned With Novichok Nerve Agent

Germany: Putin Critic Alexey Navalny Poisoned With Novichok Nerve Agent

German officials said that top Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent, which has been used previously to attack Kremlin critics, The New York Times reports.

Navalny fell ill on a plane last month and was taken to a hospital in Siberia before being flown to Germany.

Navalny allies alleged that he had been poisoned with tea he drank before the flight.

Doctors in Germany called in the army after confirming that he was poisoned.

The German government confirmed on Wednesday that Navalny was poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent from the Novichok family, a chemical weapon developed in the Soviety era.

The nerve agent was previously identified in a poisoning of a former Russian spy in the UK.

Germany points to Kremlin:

Germany and other governments condemned Russia after the announcement on Wednesday.

“Mr. Navalny has been the victim of a crime,” Chancellor Angela Merkel in a statement. “It raises very serious questions that only the Russian government can and must answer.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia has not seen any evidence of the poisoning.

“We haven’t received any information so far,” Peskov said. “We hope that it will happen soon and will help figure out what caused the condition the patient is in right now.”

Biden chides Trump silence:

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said President Donald Trump’s silence on the poisoning and his past attempts to downplay the UK poisoning was “complicity.”

"Once again, the Kremlin has used a favorite weapon – an agent from the Novichok class of chemicals – in an effort to silence a political opponent," Biden said in a statement. "It is the mark of a Russian regime that is so paranoid that it is unwilling to tolerate any criticism or dissent."

"His silence is complicity," he added. "As president, I will do what Donald Trump refuses to do: work with our allies and partners to hold the Putin regime accountable for its crimes."