Salisbury attack: Chemical weapons watchdog confirms United Kingdom findings on nerve agent

13 April, 2018, 02:04 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • Russian ambassador to the UK Alexander Vladimirovich Yakovenko

The lethal poison that struck down a former Russian spy and his daughter in England last month was a highly pure type of Novichok nerve agent, the global chemical weapons watchdog has concluded, backing Britain's findings.

"The results of analysis by OPCW-designated laboratories of environmental and biomedical samples collected by the OPCW team confirm the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used in Salisbury and severely injured three people", it said.

Skripal's daughter, Yulia, was discharged from hospital this week having also been exposed to the Novichok in the attack on 4 March, which has strained relations between Britain and Russian Federation.

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, however, claimed the findings meant that there was "no doubt" of Russia's responsibility for the incident. Moscow has denied having any involvement in the poisoning, pointing to the lack of evidence provided by London to substantiate its accusations. Russian Federation denies all accusations.

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It says the chemical was "of high purity", and does not identify its source.

The deadliness of the agent depended on the dose and how it was inhaled.

United Kingdom inspectors from the Defence Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Centre at Porton Down in Wiltshire first identified the nerve agent as belonging to the Novichok group. It included "knowledge" that Russian Federation was stockpiling small quantities of the Novichok and that it been investigating ways of using nerve agents to carry out assassinations.

A reporter for REN TV - one of Russia's largest privately owned networks - mocked the nerve agent attack and questioned nurses after entering Salisbury District Hospital early on Wednesday morning.

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"I have access to friends and family, and I have been made aware of my specific contacts at the Russian Embassy who have kindly offered me their assistance in any way they can".

Ms Skripal, 33, was discharged from a hospital in the English city of Salisbury on Monday, where, she said, she was treated "with obvious clinical expertise and with such kindness". "Until that time, I want to stress that no one speaks for me, or for my father, but ourselves", she added.

The comment came after Yulia's cousin Viktoria gave a series of interviews about a telephone conversation between the two, leading the British government to claim that Russian Federation was using Viktoria Skripal as a "pawn" in the dispute between the two sides.

"We are a busy hospital and make no apology for putting the needs of our patients first".

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The girl of educated former spy Sergei Skripal said Wednesday she does not want aid from the Russian Embassy because she moves from the neural agent attack that left her along with her father in vital condition and created the worldwide furor.

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