Medicine

Chemical watchdog backs Britain: Nerve agent poisoned former spy

Chemical watchdog backs Britain: Nerve agent poisoned former spy

The finding, announced by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), an global chemical weapons watchdog, was immediately jumped on by British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson as an indictment of Russia's culpability in the attack.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said its inspectors had found the toxin used was of "high purity" with an "almost complete absence of impurities".

"The programme subsequently included investigation of ways of delivering nerve agents, including by application to door handles".

He said that claim was "extremely suspicious" because the highly volatile A-234 nerve agent could not have been found at the scene in large quantities given that more than two weeks had passed between the attack and the collection of the samples.

The findings were welcomed by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who said they backed Britain's assertion that only Russian Federation could have carried out the attack in March.

But Mr Sedwill's letter suggested the nerve agent used was most likely to have been made at a laboratory in Shikhany, near Volgograd, a branch of the State Institute for Organic Chemistry and Technology. British Prime Minister Theresa May has said it is highly likely that Moscow was behind the attack. The embassy posted on Twitter on Tuesday: "We need urgent proof that what is being done to her is done on her own free will".

Moscow has strongly denied responsibility and says Britain is waging a defamation campaign against it.

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The British news agency Press Association on Friday quoted Sedwill's letter to Stoltenberg as saying Skripal might have been spied on in London.

Russian Federation denies the British claims about Novichok, saying that it completed the destruction of all its Soviet-era chemical weapons arsenals previous year under worldwide oversight.

He repeated previous statements that the Russian state has previously produced Novichoks and would still be capable of doing so.

Russian Federation had stopped its chemical programs in 1992 and eliminated all chemical weapons in 2017, he said. A police officer, Detective Sgt. Nick Bailey, who responded to the scene of the assault, was also hospitalized but has since been discharged.

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

In a statement issued on Wednesday via police Yulia said she was "seeking to come to terms with my prospects, while also recovering from this attack on me".

The Russian embassy in London immediately raised doubts over the authenticity of the statement, claiming it "only strengthens suspicions that we are dealing with a forcible isolation of the Russian citizen".