Russian Doctors Insist Navalny Tested Negative For Alleged 'Poison Agent'

Update (1320ET): Unsurprisingly, the debate over whether Navalny was poisoned or not has once again devolved into a game of "he said, she said" as the doctors at the hospital in Omsk where Navalny was treated are claiming that the leader specifically tested negative for the poison agent which German doctor's blamed for the opposition leader's condition.

  • RUSSIAN DOCTORS IN OMSK SAY KREMLIN CRITIC NAVALNY TESTED NEGATIVE FOR CHOLINESTERASE INHIBITORS - IFAX

* * *

Update (1215ET): Just like Berlin did following the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the UK, Chancellor Angela Merkel has demanded that Russia to "fully explain" whatever happened to Navalny.

  • MERKEL CALLS ON RUSSIA TO FULLY EXPLAIN NAVALNY POISONING

* * *

The German hospital where Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is being treated has announced that the politician and investigative journalist was probably poisoned with a "cholinesterase inhibitor," though the exact nature of the poison isn't known.

Tests on Navalny indicate that the Russian anti-corruption campaigner was indeed poisoned, and a "broad analysis" has been launched to try and determine the exact nature of the poison.

Doctors at Charite-Universitatsmedizin Berlin, where Navalny has been treated since being transferred from Siberia on Saturday, said his "clinical findings indicate intoxication by a substance from the cholinesterase inhibitor group."

"The specific substance has not been identified so far and a further wide-ranging analysis has been initiated. The effect of the toxin, i.e. the cholinesterase inhibition in the organism, has been proven several times and in independent laboratories."

They said Navalny remains in an artificial coma and is in a serious condition "but there is currently no acute danger to his life."

Navalny is reportedly in serious, but stable condition, according to a statement Monday from Berlin’s Charite hospital. He was evacuated from Russia on Saturday.

He has been in an artificial coma since Thursday after falling ill on a plane returning to Moscow from Tomsk. Read the full statement below.

The 44-year-old was in the city meeting local activists and opposition candidates ahead of regional elections set for September. His sudden illness raised suspicions after a string of Kremlin critics fell victim to poisoning in recent years.

According to Sky News, Navalny is being treated with atropine but the doctors said they cannot currently determine whether he will have lasting issues, "especially in the area of the nervous system."