Russia: Trace of Western-made nerve agent seen in United Kingdom samples

Yulia Skripal Has Snubbed Moscow's Help After The Nerve Agent Attack

World chemical watchdog confirms Soviet-developed Novichok used in spy attack in Britain

Russian intelligence agencies have been spying on former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter for at least five years, a top United Kingdom security official has said.

"Already politicians like Boris Johnson are once again trying to distort the truth and announce that the OPCW statement supports Britain's conclusions without exception", Sergei Lavrov said.

In its summary, which has been published online, the report notes the toxic chemical was of "high purity".

Minister Sergey Lavrov said Saturday that Moscow received the confidential information from the laboratory in Spiez, Switzerland, that analyzed samples from the site of the March 4 poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the English city of Salisbury.

In his letter, Sir Mark set out why the Government believes that only Russian Federation has the "technical means, operational experience and the motive" to carry out such an attack.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which collected its own samples in Salisbury at Britain's request, did not assign blame for the attack, in which Russian Federation has denied involvement, or name the chemical agent.

"Russia's chemical weapons programme continued after the collapse of the Soviet Union".

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Dunford said the research center was used for development, production and testing of chemical and biological warfare technology. In a statement later on Saturday morning in London, May said the United Kingdom was "confident of its success".

Separately, Russia shortly afterwards said it suspected British authorities of detaining the spy's daughter, who was poisoned with him, following her recent departure from hospital.

Russian channel one state television revels in its declaration that the OPCW did not report on the nerve agent origin but then spins its story in a different direction sowing doubt that Yulia Skripal's statement stating she did not want contact with the Russian embassy was written by her and speculating that she is being held in some secret place against her will. That was an apparent reference to a cousin in Russia, Viktoria Skripal, who has repeatedly popped up in interviews with official Russian media and has offered to travel to Britain to bring her cousin home.

Russian Federation claimed to have destroyed its chemical weapons stockpiles but the letter says it has "produced and stockpiled" small quantities of Novichok "within the last decade".

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

By 1993, when Russia signed the Chemical Weapons Convention, Sedwill said it was "likely" that some Novichoks had passed testing to allow their use by the Russian military.

Sergei Skripal remains seriously ill in hospital.

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".

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