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Chemical Weapons Watchdog Demands Russia Explain Poisoning Of Government Critic Navalny

(REUTERS/FILE PHOTO)

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Russia was once again put under pressure Monday to explain the poisoning of government critic Alexei Navalny, the Associated Press reported.

During an annual meeting of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the organization pressed Russia to address concerns over the circumstances of Navalny’s poisoning, the AP reported.

“The poisoning of an individual through the use of a nerve agent is a use of a chemical weapon,” said Ferndando Arias, the organization’s director-general, citing the chemical weapons convention.

At the start of the meeting, 56 nations released a statement demanding Russia reveal “in a swift and transparent manner the circumstances of this chemical weapons attack,” the AP reported.

Navalny made a public appearance in September after getting sick on a flight in Russia, Reuters reported. Navalny was transported to a Berlin hospital for treatment.

The German government said tests revealed Navalny had been poisoned from a Novichok nerve agent, Reuters reported. (RELATED: Alexei Navalny Is Out Of A Coma And Recovering After Poisoning, German Hospital Says)

Russia released a confrontational statement to the group asserting that the government did not poison Navalny, the AP reported.

“Instead of trying to look into what had happened, Germany and its allies resorted to megaphone diplomacy, unleashed a mass disinformation campaign against Russia and started to demand some ‘independent international investigation’ under the auspices of the OPCW,” the statement said, according to the AP.

Moscow previously requested OPCW experts come to Russia to give “technical assistance” for finding out what happened in Navalny’s poisoning, the AP reported. Arias said negotiations are happening to set “all the legal, technical, operational and logistical parameters in order for this visit to take place,” the AP reported.

Navalny previously blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin for the poisoning during an interview with outlet Der Spiegel. Navalny said Putin’s assertion that he poisoned himself was impossible and asserted that the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence agency, may have been involved.

The European Union sanctioned six Russia officials and a state research institute over Navalny’s poisoning, the AP reported. Russia responded in November with its own sanctions against numerous German and French officials.

The OPCW didn’t immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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