Russia Slams UK's Johnson, Says No Confirmation of Poison Origin

14 April, 2018, 22:15 | Author: Bert Pena
  • Yulia Skripal daughter of poisoned former Russian spy Sergei Skripal was released from hospital this week

Mr Sedwill's letter provided some detail of the intelligence Prime Minister Theresa May referred to in the House of Commons when she claimed Russian Federation was "highly likely" to have been behind the poisoning.

Britain's national security adviser has said Russian intelligence agencies had been spying on Sergei Skripal, a former Russian double agent, and Yulia Skripal for at least five years.

In a letter to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the United Kingdom's national security chief, Sir Mark Sedwill, said the Kremlin set up a program in the 2000s under the code name Foliant that tested the means for delivering chemical warfare agents and to "train personnel from special units in the use of these weapons".

Sedwill said "only Russian Federation has the technical means, operational means and the motive" to carry out such an attack. According to him, when spinning the Skripal saga, British officials "are deliberately seeking to slander Russian Federation by any means necessary.".

It was the first incident of a nerve agent being deployed in Europe since World War II.

Mr. Sedwill's letter also says that Britain has evidence that Russian security services have been monitoring the Skripal family.

Sedwill said that after the Soviet Union collapsed, Russian Federation signed the Chemical Weapons Convention without reporting its ongoing work on Novichoks.

A program set up in Russian Federation in the 2000s trained personnel from special units in the use of chemical warfare agents, he said, including investigating how nerve agents could be administered through door handles.

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Sedwill also said Russia had a clear motive for attacking Skripal, a former Russian military intelligence officer who had been imprisoned in Russia for spying for Britain, only to be set free in a spy swap. Alexander Yakovenko told reporters.

Lavrov said the report does nothing to back the British allegations that Moscow was behind the attack.

The watchdog's report does not say who was responsible for the attack, since that was outside the scope of its mission. It insists that the nerve agent used on the Skripals could easily have been manufactured in any of the other countries that have advanced chemical research programs.

The OPCW has completed its independent analysis of the chemical substance used in the Salisbury attack.

The codeword for the offensive chemical weapons programme (of which Novichoks were one part) was FOLIANT.

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Friday that a new report on the poisoning of a former spy does nothing to support Britain's contention that Russian Federation was behind the attack.

Mr Lavrov said the report only confirmed the composition of the substance and that Britain's claim that it confirmed the United Kingdom position on the Skripal case was overstated. He said Moscow has "irrefutable information that it was a fabrication".

It goes on to say that "during the 2000s", Russian Federation created a special unit to develop chemical weapons for use as tools in state-sponsored attacks and to "train personnel from special units in the use of these weapons".

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