Chemical weapons body backs United Kingdom over nerve-agent attack on spy

Alicia Farmer
April 15, 2018

Mr Skripal, 66, who was poisoned with a nerve agent on March 4 along with his 33-year-old daughter, Yulia, was left fighting for his life in hospital after being found unconscious on a park bench in Salisbury.

The U.K. has said its experts from the Porton Down defense research center concluded that the military-grade nerve agent that was used in the attack belonged to a Russia-developed chemical weapon group called Novichok. In addition, the reaction of the substance with water, Mirzayanov noted, began when Novichok was smeared on the door handle in the restaurant where they had supper. The analyses - carried out on blood of poisoned and remains at scene - have been carried out by four independent laboratories of OPCW, although affiliated with organization based in The Hague, reports Reuters. The amateur, in his opinion, could not do this.

BORIS JOHNSON has pledged to "stamp out" the use of chemical weapons after worldwide inspectors confirmed a nerve agent poisoned Sergei and Yulia Skripal.

He also said Russian intelligence cyber specialists had targeted Skripal's daughter Yulia's email accounts in 2013.

He repeated previous statements that the Russian state has previously produced Novichoks and would still be capable of doing so.

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Russian Federation has strongly denied any role in the poisoning of the Skripals. Maria Zakharova, spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, told reporters that the report was part of a continuing British plot against Russia. British Prime Minister Theresa May has said it is highly likely that Moscow was behind the attack.

Yulia Skripal, who was poisoned in Britain last month along with her father, a former Russian spy, has said she did not wish to take up the offer of services from the Russian embassy in London, according to a statement issued on her behalf by the Metropolitan police. A police officer, Detective Sgt. Nick Bailey, who responded to the scene of the assault, was also hospitalized but has since been discharged.

The OPCW report does not name the nerve agent directly; its name and chemical structure were sent in a classified report to OPCW member states. In the 2000s, Sedwill said Russian Federation had trained military personnel in using these weapons, including on door handles, and Russian Federation "has a proven record of conducting state-sponsored assassination".

The Russian embassy in London cast doubt on the authenticity of Yulia Skripal's statement, saying it indicates the UK's "forcible isolation of the Russian citizen".

Mr Johnson said the United Kingdom had invited the OPCW to test the samples "to ensure strict adherence to global chemical weapons protocols". "The use of weapons of this kind can never be justified, and must be ended", he said.

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