Novichok used in Skripal attack: Chemical weapons watchdog

Salisbury hospital does not confirm Skripals were treated for chemical poisoning — embassy

Salisbury hospital does not confirm Skripals were treated for chemical poisoning — embassy

Testing by four laboratories affiliated with the global chemical weapons watchdog have confirmed British findings on the nerve agent used in last month's attack on a former Russian spy in England, a summary of the findings published on Thursday (April 12) showed.

The UK government says its scientists have identified the agent as a military-grade Novichok nerve agent.

The poisoning of Skripal, a former double agent who settled in Britain in 2010 after being released by Moscow in a spy swap, shows "how reckless Russian Federation is prepared to be", the head of Britain's GCHQ spy agency said on Thursday.

But the United Kingdom does not possess a scientific smoking gun - a sample of Novichok from a Russian lab to compare with the Salisbury samples.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) had made a technical assistance visit to Salisbury, where the Skripals were found slumped on March 4 following the suspected attack blamed by London on Russian Federation, which set off a wave of expulsions of diplomatic personnel between the West and Kremlin. The British special services suppose that Skripals were poisoned by his ex-colleague Andrey Lugovoy, who acted on orders from Moscow.

In its summary, the report notes the toxic chemical was of "high purity". Yulia was discharged from the hospital on Monday.


Others include intelligence that Russia has made nerve agents and studied how to use them for assassinations, and the view of Russian President Vladimir Putin's government that traitors are legitimate targets.

Georgy Kalamanov, Russia's deputy minister of industry and trade, told the Interfax news agency Thursday it's impossible to pinpoint the agent's origin and reaffirmed Moscow's demand for a probe that would involve Russia.

That information and details about its structure would be in a classified report shared with OPCW signatories, it said.

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, however, claimed the findings meant that there was "no doubt" of Russia's responsibility for the incident. Yulia, 33, was released from the hospital earlier this week, but her 66-year-old father is recovering more slowly. She said she was declining an offer of assistance from the Russian Embassy.

"I am safe and feeling better as time goes by, but I am not yet strong enough to give a full interview to the media, as I one day hope to do", she said. She said Thursday her life is "totally different".

"As before, we would like to make sure that the statement really belongs to Yulia". Mutual accusations of poisoning Skripals led to a crisis in relations between two countries and the deportation of diplomats.

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