Watchdog confirms Skripal poisoned with nerve agent

Sergei Skripal with his daughter Yulia

The independent scientists from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPWC) have confirmed Thursday that the nerve agent Novichok was used in Salisbury, England on March 4 in a chemical attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter.

In a letter to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation secretary general Jens Stoltenberg, Sir Mark also revealed that intelligence chiefs had identified the laboratory where Novichok is believed to have been developed in the Soviet Union and said that after its collapse Russian Federation had continued producing the toxin.

The OPCW report does not determine those responsible for the Salisbury incident, but London believes that it could be Russian Federation.

Testing by four laboratories affiliated with the global chemical weapons watchdog confirmed Britain's findings and showed that the toxic chemical was "of high purity". The OPCW was tasked with identifying the chemical, not with attributing its origin or ascertaining blame for the poisoning.

"Only an idiot would've used this substance in humid conditions", he declared.

Responding to the summary, Moscow said that it had reason to think the report was part of a British operation to discredit Russian Federation.

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Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has also said: "Even if it's Novichok, about 20 countries produced it". London promptly accused Moscow of orchestrating a deadly attack with what United Kingdom experts claim was the A234 nerve agent.

Russian Federation carried out secret tests on how to smear deadly nerve agents such as Novichok on door handles, Britain claimed today in a bombshell dossier of evidence against Moscow in the Salisbury poisoning case.

Foreign secretary Boris Johnson called the results "conclusive".

Blood tests also revealed that the chemical was found in blood samples taken from the Skripals and Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey, the police officer who first attended the scene.

"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", he said.

Yulia Skripal, who was released from hospital on Monday, said in a statement she was still suffering effects of the poisoning and her father remained seriously ill.

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