Watchdog backs United Kingdom on toxic nerve agent

Sergei Skripal and daughter Yulia were poisoned

On Saturday, Russia's foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, claimed the UN-linked Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) had sent the Skripals' biomedical samples to Swiss experts who found they contained traces of the nerve agent BZ, used by the west.

Sedwill also said that Russian Federation has tested means of delivering chemical agents "including by application to door handles", pointing out that the highest concentration of the chemical found after the attack was on Skripal's front door handle.

The BBC's diplomatic correspondent James Landale said: "This is understood to strengthen the argument that this substance came from Russian Federation because it is more likely to have been created by a state actor with the capability to make the nerve agent".

The Bishop of Salisbury, and the Rector of the parish in which nerve agent victims Sergei and Yulia Skripal were found, are welcoming all members of the public to a special "celebration" of the community life of the City.

According to the embassy's maycommentary, "the case against Russian Federation is based on three elements: the identification of the chemical agent, far-fetched speculations and conclusions regarding the "operational experience" and "motive", as well as unverifiable 'intelligence'".

"It is highly likely that the Russian intelligence services view at least some of its defectors as legitimate targets for assassination", he said.

Sir Mark also identified the key institute for developing Novichok in the former Soviet Union as a branch of the State Institute for Organic Chemistry and Technology near Volgograd.


The government of Prime Minister Theresa May expelled 23 Russian diplomats in retaliation and called on ir global allies to follow in ir footsteps.

Cyber specialists from the GRU, Russia's foreign intelligence agency, hacked Miss Skripal's emails as far back as 2013, he said. "Within the last decade, Russian Federation has produced and stockpiled small quantities of Novichoks under the same programme", he said.

'We would like to make sure that the statement really belongs to Yulia, ' the embassy said. Moscow has denied any involvement.

Russia's ambassador to the United Kingdom, Alexander Yakovenko, dismissed the charges Friday as unfounded and untrue.

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".

Yulia Skripal, 33, left the hospital Monday and - as NPR's Scott Neuman and Peter Kenyon noted earlier Thursday - has turned down help from the Russian Embassy in the U.K. Her 66-year-old father remains hospitalized, though hospital officials announced last week that he too is "improving rapidly".

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