It was solely this week that army scientists made their ultimate dedication concerning the poison and knowledgeable the German management, the official mentioned. The outcomes have been so extremely labeled, the official mentioned, that even Mr. Navalny’s docs weren’t instantly knowledgeable, although that they had been working beneath the idea of a nerve agent assault and offering the suitable remedy.
The Novichok class of nerve brokers comprises many potential variations and the official wouldn’t present the exact chemical components of the substance present in Mr. Navalny, saying such data had acquired the very best German safety classification.
German army scientists, the official mentioned, “were 100 percent certain that it was Novichok.”
“It’s not nearly certain. It’s not probably certain. It’s absolutely certain,” the official mentioned.
The case is anticipated to additional pressure ties between Berlin and Moscow which have been tense since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. Ms. Merkel mentioned on Wednesday that Germany, which at present holds the European Union’s rotating presidency, would seek the advice of with its European and NATO companions a couple of coordinated response.
“The world will wait for answers,” she mentioned.
Germany and Russia share deep cultural and financial ties, and Ms. Merkel, who’s fluent in Russian, has insisted on sustaining a dialogue with Mr. Putin by means of common calls and conferences.
But she has additionally resisted Moscow because it has pivoted in opposition to the West. She led Europe’s transfer to impose financial sanctions in response to Russia’s 2014 invasion of Crimea, expelled two Russian embassy workers after the German federal prosecutor’s workplace mentioned it suspected Russia within the Berlin park killing lower than one mile from her chancellery, and is in search of sanctions in opposition to the top of Russia’s army intelligence company over a 2015 cyberattack on the German Parliament.
Michael Schwirtz reported from New York and Melissa Eddy from Berlin. Michael Crowley contributed reporting from Washington, Andrew E. Kramer from Moscow, Megan Specia from London and Christopher F. Schuetze from Berlin.