Russian spy poisoning: Nerve agent inspectors back UK


Sedwill said Moscow had a proven record of state-sponsored assassinations and had tested ways of delivering chemical weapons, including the use of door handles to spread nerve agents, as Britain believes was done in the Skripal case.

"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", British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said in a statement celebrating the OPCW report.

The global chemical weapons watchdog has said an analysis of samples gathered from Sergei Skripal, Yulia Skripal and detective sergeant Nick Bailey - the officer affected during the emergency response - confirmed the U.K.'s assessment of the incident.

Lavrov also said the Swiss experts had found that the Skripals' samples contained traces of A-234 - one of the nerve agents of the novichok group - "in its original form" and in considerable quantities.

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

He said only has the "technical means, operational experience and the motive" for the attack.

The incident has led to a diplomatic crisis between Moscow and the West as Moscow denies any involvement and accuses Britain of inventing a "fake story".

Sergei Skripal has been living in Britain since 2010 but his daughter only arrived last month, to visit her father.

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The letter from Mark Sedwill set out in clinical terms why Russian Federation had the means, the experience and the motive to carry out the attempted murders of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. Russian Federation retaliated with tit-for-tat expulsions, while its spy chief Sergei Naryshkin last week accused U.K and USA secret services of carrying out the poisoning as a "grotesque provocation".

The testimony of the Skripals will be crucial in establishing the credibility of the British government's claim that it was "highly likely" that the Russian state had targeted them with the nerve agent.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons confirmed that the Skripals were exposed to a sophisticated nerve agent that it did not name in a summary of the report that was made public Thursday.

She said she had been made aware of the Russian embassy's attempts to contact and offer her assistance by "at the moment I do not wish to avail myself of their services". "It would not be my role to say what would be in that statement", Asquith told reporters here.

Meanwhile, British national security adviser Mark Sedwill has revealed that Russian intelligence agencies had been spying on Skripal and his daughter for the past five years.

"With no possibility to verify it, the publication by the Metropolitan Police raises new questions rather than gives answers".

The Russian embassy in London cast doubt on the authenticity of Yulia Skripal's statement, saying it indicates the UK's "forcible isolation of the Russian citizen".

She added that her father remains "seriously ill", and that she is suffering from the attack.

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