It was solely this week that navy scientists made their last willpower concerning the poison and knowledgeable the German management, the official mentioned. The outcomes had been so extremely categorized, the official mentioned, that even Mr. Navalny’s medical doctors weren’t instantly knowledgeable, although they’d been working beneath the idea of a nerve agent assault and offering the suitable therapy.
The Novichok class of nerve brokers comprises many doable variations and the official wouldn’t present the exact chemical components of the substance present in Mr. Navalny, saying such info had obtained the best German safety classification.
German navy 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 were tense since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. Ms. Merkel mentioned on Wednesday that Germany, which at the moment 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 way 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 staff 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 navy 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.