Germany today said it has ‘unequivocal proof’ Russian dissident Alexei Navalny was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok.
Chancellor Angela Merkel said he was a victim of attempted murder and the world would look to Russia for answers.
Mr Navalny was flown to Berlin after falling ill on a flight in Siberia last month, and remains in a coma.
His team says he was poisoned on President Vladimir Putin’s orders. The Kremlin has dismissed the allegation.
The Kremlin spokesman called on Germany for a full exchange of information and foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova complained the Novichok allegations were not backed up by evidence. “Where are the facts, where are the formulas, at least some kind of information?” she asked.
A Novichok nerve agent was used to poison former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the UK in 2018. While they survived, a British woman later died in hospital. The UK accused Russia’s military intelligence of carrying out that attack.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemned the latest attack as “outrageous”. “The Russian government must now explain what happened to Mr Navalny – we will work with international partners to ensure justice is done,” he tweeted.