Britain accuses Moscow of spying on Skripals for at least five years

Sergei Skripal

Sergei Skripal

The UK released the intelligence on Friday linking Russian Federation to the attack on the former double agent and his daughter.

It is extremely rare for the United Kingdom to make such intelligence public...

He questioned the authenticity of a statement issued by Ms Skripal through the Metropolitan Police saying she did not want to meet Russian officials.

However Russia, which has denied it played any role in the attack on the Skripals, said it believed the watchdog's report was part of a British operation to discredit Russia.

Britain blamed Russian Federation for the poisoning and Prime Minister Theresa May said the Skripals had been attacked with a military-grade nerve agent from the Novichok group of poisons, developed by the Soviet Union. A new analysis from the global oversight organization that enforces chemical weapons treaties doesn't directly name names, but the report falls foursquare behind the analysis of the UK's own investigators.

It published the unusual allegations in an 8,000-word report on the incident after the Kremlin was accused of using a military grade nerve agent in Salisbury, on March 4.

Yulia Skripal earlier this week was discharged after more than a month of hospital treatment following the attack.

It is not clear where she and her father will go in the future, though she has publicly denied offers of consular assistance from Russian Federation, where she lived before the attack during a visit.

Russia, he said, repeating a claim the Kremlin has asserted throughout the Skripal affair, eliminated all of its stockpiles of chemical weapons in 2017, and as for Novichok, "We did not produce it and didn't store it".

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The embassy expressed surprise that the statement had been published at Scotland Yard's website instead of being read out by Yulia on camera.

In the 2000s, Sedwill said Russian Federation had trained military personnel in using these weapons, including on door handles.

Besides, the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko in 2006 was mentioned in the letter as well.

Shortly after the attack in Salisbury, UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd asked police and intelligence agency MI5 to look into further allegations of Russian state involvement in a number of deaths in the UK, prompted by a Buzzfeed report alleging Russian links to 14 suspicious deaths in the UK.

The 33-year-old was found slumped beside her father, 66, on a bench in Salisbury, England, on March 4.

In a statement, a spokesman said: "We congratulate Yulia on her recovery".

Asked if the probe was getting closer to identifying a suspect, she said: "All I can say is we are putting huge effort in, we will continue to do that".

He said the highest concentration of Novichok was found on Sergei Skripal's front door.

"The document only strengthens suspicions that we are dealing with a forcible isolation of the Russian citizen", the Russian Embassy said in its statement.

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