Russian spy poisoning: Nerve agent inspectors back UK

Russian spy poisoning: Nerve agent inspectors back UK

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Saturday claimed he had evidence from a Swiss lab that ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with a Western-developed chemical agent.

President Donald Trump warned Russia this week of an impending missile strike against its ally Syrian President Bashar Assad over the alleged use of chemical weapons against his own people, although the president subsequently walked back denunciations of Russian President Vladimir Putin for backing Assad.

Russian agents also tested the effectiveness of Novichok nerve agent smeared on door handles as part of a secret chemical weapons programme codenamed Foliant, it has emerged.

Earlier on April 12, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) confirmed the version of the British government that Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with the Novichok nerve agent.

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. 'It is highly likely that Novichoks were developed to prevent detection by the West and to circumvent worldwide chemical weapons controls, ' Mr Sedwill said.

"As for "intelligence", it should be remembered that the United Kingdom has a vast record of misleading the government and the public, which entailed catastrophic consequences", the embassy said.

Skripal confirmed that she was safe and had specially trained officers available to her during the recovery.

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Mr Sedwill said Russian Federation further developed some Novichoks after ratifying the convention, and failed to report the activity.

Skripal and his daughter were found on March 4 unconscious in a bank of streets of British town of Salisbury.

Sir Mark, a senior official in the Cabinet Office, included the new detail - some of which had previously been leaked to British media - in a letter to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg briefing him on the poisoning of the Skripals in Salisbury.

Russia, which denies it was behind the attack in Salisbury, called the allegations an "anti-Russian campaign".

Russian Federation claimed to have destroyed its chemical weapons stockpiles but the letter says it has "produced and stockpiled" small quantities of Novichok "within the last decade".

"I find myself in a totally different life than the ordinary one I left just over a month ago, and I am seeking to come to terms with my prospects, whilst also recovering from this attack on me", she said.

The Russian embassy, which has repeatedly demanded access to the Skripals, cast doubt on the authenticity of her statement Thursday.

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