Novichok nerve agent used to poison Sergei Skripal, OPCW says

Kenny Tucker
April 15, 2018

According to London, on March 4, former Russian military intelligence (GRU) Colonel Sergei Skripal, who had been convicted in Russia of spying for Great Britain and later swapped for Russian intelligence officers, and his daughter Yulia suffered the effects of an alleged nerve agent in the British city of Salisbury.

Lavrov also said the Swiss experts had found that the Skripals' samples contained traces of A-234 - one of the nerve agents of the novichok group - "in its original form" and in considerable quantities. 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.

It added: "The Russian state has previously produced Novichoks and would still be capable of doing so". The amateur, in his opinion, could not do this.

Britain said Thursday that an global chemical weapons monitoring organization's report strongly bolsters the case for Kremlin guilt in last month's poisoning of onetime spy Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter, Yulia, 33. Russia's ambassador to Britain, Alexander Yakovenko, identified the poison as Novichok A-234, derived from an earlier version known as A-232.

It states it is "highly likely that Novichoks were developed to prevent detection by the West and to circumvent worldwide chemical weapons controls".

Perhaps the most explosive claim in his dossier was that Russian security services had hacked Yulia Skripal's email accounts for at least five years before she and her father were found slumped on a park bench in Salisbury.

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"In the interest of transparency, and because unlike the Russians we have nothing to hide, we have asked the OPCW to publish the executive summary for all to see and to circulate the full report to all state parties of the OPCW, including Russia", Johnson said in a statement.

Mr Johnson said the United Kingdom had invited the OPCW to test the samples "to ensure strict adherence to worldwide chemical weapons protocols".

The Russian embassy, which has repeatedly demanded access to the Skripals, cast doubt on the authenticity of her statement Thursday. "The use of weapons of this kind can never be justified, and must be ended", he said.

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

Mr Sedwill said he wanted to share further intelligence on Russia's activities, saying: 'Only Russia has the technical means, operational experience and the motive.' At Scotland Yard, Miss Dick refused to be drawn on the latest developments in the investigation. The embassy posted on Twitter on Tuesday: "We need urgent proof that what is being done to her is done on her own free will".

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