World

Global chemical weapons group confirms 'novichok' used in Skripals' poisoning

Global chemical weapons group confirms 'novichok' used in Skripals' poisoning

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is shifting the blame of the poisoning of double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter after claiming that the nerve agent used on the Skripal's could be in the arsenal of the United States and UK.

"There remains no alternative explanation about who was responsible - only Russian Federation has the means, motive and record".

Britain said the report's characterization of the substance as highly purified supported its stance that the chemical could have been produced only by a state laboratory, although Moscow refuses to provide samples against which it could be matched.

In a report published today, the OPCW said they confirmed "the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identify of the toxic chemical that was used in Salisbury and severely injured three people". The UK's own experts had previously named it as Novichok, a nerve agent developed in the old Soviet Union.

Sir Mark told how Russian intelligence officers are believed to have targeted emails from former spy Sergei Skripal's daughter Yulia since 2013.

The finding, announced by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), an worldwide chemical weapons watchdog, was immediately jumped on by British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson as an indictment of Russia's culpability in the attack.

"There remains no alternative explanation about who was responsible - only Russian Federation has the means, motive and record", he said.

Russian Federation strongly denies involvement in the attack, which has sparked an worldwide row resulting in the expulsions of diplomats from all sides.




Doctors treating the two victims of last month's poisoning attack in Salisbury England, have confirmed that one of the victims Yulia Skripal has been released from hospital. "The use of weapons of this kind can never be justified, and must be ended", he said.

The UK's defence laboratory at Porton Down had established the highest concentrations of the poison were found on the handle of Sergei Skripal's front door, the letter said.

Zakharova added there were doubts that a recent statement by Yulia Skripal was authentic.

Russian Federation has charged that British officials are keeping Skripal's daughter in isolation.

He said the codeword for the chemical weapons programme, which included Novichok, was "FOLIANT". She also addressed comments made by her cousin Viktoria in the Russian media, asking her not to contact or visit her in the UK.

The claims are made in a letter from Sir Mark Sedwill, the UK's national security adviser, to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg.

"With no possibility to verify it, the publication by the Metropolitan Police raises new questions rather than gives answers".

Sergei Skripal remains seriously ill in hospital.


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