Russia’s state-run media has already launched an effort to deny the poisoning of Alexei Navalny, immediately after a Berlin lab found evidence of a Novichok-like chemical nerve agent in his system. “Navalny was the victim of an attack with a chemical nerve agent in Russia,” said Steffen Steibert, a spokesperson for the German government, a conclusion reached after samples from the longtime Russian opposition leader were tested at a toxicology lab affiliated with the German military. According to Russia’s state-controlled Sputnik News, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov claimed that Berlin hadn’t informed Moscow about its findings. The outlet also reported that one of the developers of Novichok, Leonid Rink, claimed that Navalny’s symptoms aren’t consistent with poisoning by the nerve agent. “There would be convulsions and so on. Completely different symptoms,” Rink said.
Sputnik also claims an independent team of Russian doctors said no traces of poison had been found and that results suggest Navalny’s condition was caused by a metabolic imbalance.