PARIS (Reuters) – France’s independent analysis has concluded that Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny was poisoned with the Soviet-style nerve agent Novichok in an attempted assassination, the presidency said on Monday.
“The president expressed his deep concern over the criminal act perpetrated against Alexei Navalany and the imperative that all light be shed, without delay, on the circumstances and responsibilities of this attempted assassination,” Emmanuel Macron’s office said in a statement after holding a telephone call with President Vladimir Putin.
Germany said earlier that laboratories in Sweden and France had independently corroborated German results from earlier this month.
Neither Macron or his office had made any statement on the findings until now, although his foreign and defence ministers postponed a planned joint meeting with their Russian counterparts which had been scheduled for today.
“He (Macron) expressed his full solidarity with Germany on the steps to be taken and the consequences to be drawn from the situation,” the presidency said.
“Clarification is needed from Russia in the context of a credible and transparent investigation.”
Macron has tried to reduce distrust between Russia and the West, hoping to enlist Russian help in solving the world’s most intractable crises. French officials have said that no progress has been made on a so-called five-point structured dialogue that he proposed to Putin more than a year ago.
(Reporting by John Irish and Michel Rose; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Toby Chopra)
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