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Canada condemns attack on Russia's Navalny, says chemical weapons use 'despicable'

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada on Wednesday said it “strongly condemned” the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and called on Moscow to explain what had happened and ensure those responsible were held to account.

“The use of chemical weapons is despicable and abhorrent,” Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said in a tweet. Germany said earlier on Wednesday that a Soviet-style Novichok nerve agent had been used to poison Navalny, who collapsed on a domestic Russian flight, and is now hospitalized in Berlin.

Navalny remains in serious condition in an intensive care unit connected to an artificial lung ventilator, though some of his symptoms were receding, Berlin’s Charite hospital said.

Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Leslie Adler