Chemical watchdog backs United Kingdom findings on Salisbury spy poisoning

Clay Curtis
April 13, 2018

Testing by four laboratories affiliated with the global chemical weapons watchdog have confirmed British findings on the nerve agent used in March's attack on a former Russian spy in the United Kingdom, according to a summary of the findings published on Thursday. But it did confirm Britain's analysis about the substance that had been used.

On April 4, British military facility head Gary Aitkenhead claimed to identify the nerve agent as the military-grade Novichok but they had not proved that it was made in Russian Federation.

The OPCW report states that experts found particles of a toxic chemical in samples taken from the site, where the Skripals were poisoned in Salisbury. Thus, the OPCW confirmed the version of the British side.

He also hinted towards the involvement of the state-actors in the manufacturing of the nerve-agent.

The poisoning touched off one of the biggest diplomatic crises between Russian Federation and western nations since the Cold War, with both sides expelling scores of diplomats.

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 poison was also found in blood samples of Sergei and Yulia Skripal.

He and Yulia have since been discharged, while Sergei Skripal remains in what is described as a serious condition in hospital.

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Ministers also agreed that May should continue to work with the United States and France to come up with the right response. The opposition Labour Party and some others are calling for parliamentary approval before taking action.

She revealed she has rejected assistance from the Russian embassy.

A British police officer took ill after helping the Skripals.

The report puts beyond doubt that it was highly likely Russian Federation carried out the attack, people close to the investigation said, adding that the nerve agent could only be concocted in a very sophisticated laboratory by highly capable chemists who were familiar with the agent.

The poisoning of Mr Skripal, 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.

U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said in a statement that the OPCW's conclusion showed "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 chief executive of the Porton Down defense laboratory in the United Kingdom said earlier this month that scientists could not confirm where the nerve agent was made. "The use of weapons of this kind can never be justified, and must be ended".

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