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Foreign Ministry slams expulsion of Russian diplomats as provocation

Foreign Ministry slams expulsion of Russian diplomats as provocation

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Britain blames Russian Federation for the March 4 attack on Skripal and his daughter Yulia, a claim that Moscow fiercely denies.

Although the focus of the police investigation is on the door of Mr Skripal's house in Salisbury, where detectives said they found traces of the deadly novichok nerve agent, they are also said to have questioned...

Mr Lavrov said that Russian Federation has called a meeting of the global chemical weapons watchdog for Wednesday to discuss the case and asked it to provide details of its cooperation with Britain in the poisoning probe.

Earlier in the day, Sky News reported that Porton Down experts are unable to identify the precise source of the nerve agent that was used in poisoning the former Russian agent, but that it was a military-grade nerve agent.

Aitkenhead said the attack with a highly toxic chemical weapon was "probably only within the capabilities of a state actor".

In a letter dated last Thursday (March 29), Russia's ambassador to the OPCW Alexander Shulgin asked for the meeting to discuss the British allegations "in a confidential sitting".




Russian officials have claimed the poison may have come from Britain, pointing out that Porton Down conducts secret chemical and biological weapons research. A statement by Scotland Yard said specialists have identified the highest concentration so far of the nerve agent as being "on the front door of the address".

Lt. General Evgeny Buzhinsky said that the diplomatic tensions risk becoming "worse than the cold war" - and claimed that the West is trying to overthrow Vladimir Putin's government.

His comments came as the Russian Embassy in London issued a series of what it termed "questions without answer" about the Skripal case - including whether the United Kingdom had ever produced the Novichok nerve agent believed to have been used in the Salisbury poisoning. His 33-year-old daughter Yulia, who was also exposed to the gas, remains in hospital, although her condition has greatly improved.

The attack has sparked a crisis in relations between Russian Federation and the West.

On March 26, in the wake of the Skripal incident, a number of European Union member countries, the United States, Canada and Australia announced the expulsion of Russian diplomats.

Russian Federation has also called an extraordinary session of the Executive Council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on Wednesday, demanding answers to some questions regarding the incident.

Yury Filatov said the measure was a principle of diplomacy after Ireland ejected a Russian representative over the Salisbury nerve agent poisoning. "If they choose to ignore them, there is ample ground to assume that we are dealing with a grand-scale provocation organised by London with the end to discredit Russian Federation".


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