United Kingdom writes to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation claiming Russian Federation spied on Skripals for 5 years

The chemical weapons watchdog confirmed Wednesday that Novichok was used in the attack on former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia  AFP

The chemical weapons watchdog confirmed Wednesday that Novichok was used in the attack on former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia AFP

BORIS JOHNSON has pledged to "stamp out" the use of chemical weapons after worldwide inspectors confirmed a nerve agent poisoned Sergei and Yulia Skripal.

Boris Johnson, Britain's foreign secretary, said in a statement: "There can be no doubt what was used and there remains no alternative explanation about who was responsible - only Russian Federation has the means, motive and record".

The OPCW, in its report which identified the nerve agent by its chemical properties, said it had an "almost complete absence" of impurities.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons did not name the nerve agent as Novichok, but said it agreed with the UK's findings on its identity.

Britain named it as Novichok, a group of powerful and deadly chemical compounds developed by the Soviet government in the 1970s and 1980s.

A CHURCH in Salisbury will host a "service of cleansing and celebration" after the poisoning of the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in the city last month.

But British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said: "There can be no doubt what was used and there remains no alternative explanation about who was responsible".

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


The incident has led to a diplomatic crisis between Moscow and the West as Moscow denies any involvement and accuses Britain of inventing a "fake story".

Yulia, who was released from hospital on Monday, said in a statement she was suffering the effects of the poisoning, while her father remained seriously ill.

Asquith, however, did not give a direct answer to whether the United Kingdom would raise the matter during the Commonwealth Heads of the Government Meeting in London from April 16-20.

He also said Russian intelligence cyber specialists had targeted Skripal's daughter Yulia's email accounts in 2013.

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. She also said she would give interviews to the media in time, but asked the press to have patience while she recovers.

Yulia Skripal, 33, made the comments in a statement released through the Metropolitan Police on Wednesday, two days after she was discharged from hospital. "It would not be my role to say what would be in that statement", Asquith told reporters here.

Russian Federation carried out secret tests on how to smear deadly nerve agents such as Novichok on door handles, Britain claimed today in a bombshell dossier of evidence against Moscow in the Salisbury poisoning case.

"We have every reason to believe this could be a question of the deliberate, forcible detention of a Russian citizen".

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