Worldwide chemical weapons group confirms 'novichok' used in Skripals' poisoning

Worldwide chemical weapons group confirms 'novichok' used in Skripals' poisoning

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is shifting the blame of the poisoning of double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter after claiming that the nerve agent used on the Skripal's could be in the arsenal of the United States and UK.

"Already politicians like Boris Johnson are once again trying to distort the truth and announce that the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) statement supports Britain's conclusions without exception", Sergei Lavrov said.

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.

The nerve agent used to poison a former Russian spy and his daughter in England has been confirmed as novichok, a series of highly-toxic substances developed in Russia and considered among the deadliest chemical weapons ever made.

In the letter, Sedwill said only Russian Federation had the "technical means, operational experience and the motive" for the attack.

And it was "highly likely that the Russian intelligence services view at least some of its defectors as legitimate targets for assassination", he said. This included the hacking of Yulia Skripal's email accounts.

The work was done at a branch of Russia's Institute for Organic Chemistry and Technology at Shikhany near Volgograd, as part of an offensive chemical weapons programme known as FOLIANT.

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

He said: "We want to meet Yulia and we want proof that she is alright and is in good condition".

The experts took samples from several locations as well as biomedical samples from the Skripals and police officer Nick Bailey, who was also exposed to the nerve agent. The alleged hackers' attack is described as retaliation against London accusing Moscow of being involved in the Skripal case.

Russian Federation denies the British claims about Novichok, saying that it completed the destruction of all its Soviet-era chemical weapons arsenals previous year under worldwide oversight.

"Not a single friend or relative quoted by Russian or British media confirms such contacts", it said, noting that "as far we know" their closest relatives are her cousin Victoria and their grandmother Elena, who live together.

He repeated previous statements that the Russian state has previously produced Novichoks and would still be capable of doing so.

A hugely symbolic church service is taking place this Sunday (15 April) in Salisbury, just meters away from the centre of the "Salisbury spy poisoning" incident.

Yakovenko also questioned the authenticity of a statement in which Yulia Skripal, who was discharged from hospital earlier this week, turned down Russian consular assistance.

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