1

https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-09-14/german-govt-labs-confirm-navalny-was-poisoned-with-novichok

The German government said tests by labs in France and Sweden backed up findings by a German military lab that Navalny was poisoned with Novichok, the same class of Soviet-era agent that Britain said was used on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, England, in 2018.

The Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons also is taking steps to have samples from Navalny tested at its designated labs, German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said.

He said Germany had asked France and Sweden for an independent examination of the findings. German officials said labs in both countries, as well as the OPCW, took new samples from Navalny.

“In efforts separate from the OPCW examinations, which are still ongoing, three laboratories have meanwhile independently of one another presented proof that Mr. Navalny’s poisoning was caused by a nerve agent from the Novichok group,” Seibert said.

“We once again call on Russia to make a statement on the incident,” he added. “We are closely consulting with our European partners regarding possible next steps.”

Seibert wouldn’t identify the French and Swedish labs. But the head of the Swedish Defense Research Agency, Asa Scott, told Swedish news agency TT: “We can confirm that we see the same results as the German laboratory, that is, that there is no doubt that it is about these substances.”

Could anybody answer

  1. which exactly laboratories confirmed Navalny was poisoned by Novichok?

  2. or - in case this information is secret - why it is secret?

3
  • I didn't vote either way, but I think the problem could be that the question is 99% copied citation. You could have rewritten it, and only used the citation to give some background.
    – gktscrk
    Dec 17 '20 at 12:29
  • I didn't downvote, but I have seen several questions about this both here and on skeptics that were obviously pushing an agenda (evil western countries framing innocent Russia without evidence). Some users may have downvoted you assuming you asked in bad faith like so many others.
    – user141592
    Dec 17 '20 at 14:21
  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. Please don't use comments to debate the question matter. If you would like to answer, please post a real answer. If you would like to discuss, please use the chat function. Please try to limit these comments to suggesting improvements to the question.
    – JJJ
    Dec 17 '20 at 15:39
5

According to a Swedish news release

“I can confirm that we at FOI in Umeå have conducted an analysis on behalf of our German partners,” says Dr Åsa Scott, Head of the CBRN Protection and Security Division. Sampling, transport and analysis have been carried out under a strict chain of custody, following procedures in accordance with FOI’s status as an accredited laboratory.

[...]

FOI’s facility in Umeå includes the only Swedish laboratory that is specialised in the analysis of chemical warfare agents. This analytical capacity includes the safeguarding of the sample’s chain of custody, including the correct collection of samples and ensuring that no external factors can influence the samples during their transport and analysis. [...]

The C-laboratory is also internationally designated to work for the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

The article also briefly discusses the technique used for identification of the nerve agent (LC–MS). The technique itself is hardly unique to nerve agents. Even the applications of the to identifying nerve agents are easily found in publicly available research papers, e.g. here's one on sarin I found in a jiffy.

(Aside: The OPCW itself keeps secret the list of the labs it accredits, but this seems to be a poorly guarded secret at the other end; besides the Swedish lab, one can easily find e.g. a Swiss one or a Finnish one that disclose their affiliation. Of some note, the Swiss lab participated in the analysis on the Skripal case... and Russian agents apparently tried to hack it. Although I could not immediately find a French one making public such info or any news of what exact French lab participated in the Navalny investigation, unlike the Swedish lab which self-disclosed their participation.)

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  • Ah, sorry. It actually mentions the FOI laboratory (although this is just one lab). It is probably I will accept this answer few hours later.
    – jsv
    Dec 17 '20 at 10:33
  • 2
    By the way, it seems it is not a just a newspaper but FOI (Swedish Defence Research Agency). Which is much better source, of course.
    – jsv
    Dec 17 '20 at 10:45
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    In France it might be IRSN which does such things, but I'm not entirely sure.
    – Fizz
    Dec 17 '20 at 11:18

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