Published: Sun, April 15, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Chemical arms watchdog confirms United Kingdom findings on Russian-made nerve agent

Chemical arms watchdog confirms United Kingdom findings on Russian-made nerve agent

"Only Russia has the means, motive and record".

Testing by OPCW laboratories found the substance used in Salisbury to be of "a high purity", which supports the British government's assertion that a state was involved.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) did not identify who made it, but the foreign secretary said only Russian Federation had the "means, motive and record". "The Kremlin must give answers", he said.

"We must, as a world community, stand up for the rules based order which keeps us all safe".

Russian Federation denies the British claims about Novichok, saying that it completed the destruction of all its Soviet-era chemical weapons arsenals past year under worldwide oversight.

The letter that British Prime Minister Theresa May's national security adviser Mark Sedwill has sent to NATO's Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg indicates there is no proof to back up the charges of Russia's involvement in the poisoning of former GRU Colonel Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, the Russian embassy in London said in a commentary obtained by TASS on Friday evening.

In recent weeks, British authorities - along with roughly two dozen countries, including the US - have expelled scores of Russian diplomats in retaliation.

Britain and allies including the United States have blamed Moscow, sparking furious denials and provoking an worldwide row resulting in the expulsions of diplomats from all sides.

Both sides have expelled each other's diplomats.

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A day earlier, Yulia Skripal, in a statement released on her behalf by Scotland Yard, declined what she called a "kindly" offer of assistance from the Russian Embassy in London.

A team from the OPCW visited the United Kingdom on 19 March, 15 days after the Skripals were found slumped on a park bench in Salisbury and taken to hospital, along with a police officer who was among the first on the scene. She also addressed comments made by her cousin Viktoria in the Russian media, asking her not to contact or visit her in the UK. "It would not be my role to say what would be in that statement", Asquith told reporters here.

"The document only strengthens suspicions that we are dealing with a forcible isolation of the Russian citizen". "With no possibility to verify it, the publication by the Metropolitan Police raises new questions rather than gives answers", according to the embassy on its website.

"We can not be sure that Yulia's refusal to see us is genuine".

"We didn't produce Novichok, we never have - that's the official position", he said.

Salisbury District Hospital said Sergei Skripal was still in the hospital but showing progress.

She added that her father remains "seriously ill", and that she is suffering from the attack.

"As far as the chemical agent [that was allegedly used to poison Skriplas] is concerned, it is common knowledge that any modern chemical laboratory is capable of making it".

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