Angel Merkel confirmed on Wednesday that Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny was poisoned with a Novichok-type nerve agent, the same formula used in the attempted murder of a Russian defector in the UK two years ago.

The Chancellor said that Germany will now discuss new sanctions against the Russian regime. Merkel said: “This is disturbing information about the attempted murder through poisoning against a leading Russian opposition figure. Alexei Navalny was the victim of an attack with a chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group. This poison could be identified unequivocally in tests.”

Unsurprisingly, the Russian foreign ministry said there was no evidence to back the claim.

Navalny remains in serious condition in intensive care at Berlin’s Charite hospital. Also on Wednesday, the hospital indicated that there had been some improvement in his condition, but added that there could be long-term consequences from his poisoning and a long period of illness could be expected.

PHOTO: Navalny seen sipping tea before his flight to Moscow, which was diverted after he became violently ill