United Kingdom calls for UNSC meeting on OPCW report on Salisbury incident

The chemical weapons watchdog confirmed Wednesday that Novichok was used in the attack on former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia  AFP

The chemical weapons watchdog confirmed Wednesday that Novichok was used in the attack on former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia AFP

Russia's Foreign Minister on Friday accused his British counterpart of distorting the findings of the world chemical watchdog's investigation into a spy poisoning the United Kingdom blames on Moscow.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said its inspectors had found the toxin used was of "high purity" with an "almost complete absence of impurities". The Skripals are thought to have come into contact with the nerve agent on their front door.

The UK says it has intelligence indicating that within the last decade, Russian Federation has investigated ways of delivering nerve agents probably for assassination - and as part of this programme produced and stockpiled small quantities of Novichoks.

Skripal, 66, a former colonel in Russia's military intelligence who betrayed dozens of agents to Britain's MI6 foreign spy service, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were found unconscious on a bench in the cathedral city of Salisbury on March 4. In the 2000s, Sedwill said Russian Federation had trained military personnel in using these weapons, including on door handles, and Russian Federation "has a proven record of conducting state-sponsored assassination".

Russian Foreign Ministry information and press director Maria Zakharova said the allegations in relation to the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal were a "clear anti-Russian campaign, the like of which we have not seen in the world for a long time in terms of its scale and lack of principles".

Russian hackers are preparing the release of "embarrassing information" on British MPs, ministers and other high-ranking politicians, including Prime Minister Theresa May. "All returned the same conclusive results", Mr Johnson said in a statement.

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

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".

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.

Russian Federation denies the British claims about Novichok, saying that it completed the destruction of all its Soviet-era chemical weapons arsenals past year under global oversight. "We didn't produce Novichok, we didn't store this Novichok, so-called under the Western classification", he said.

The letter revealed that Russia's chemical weapons programme continued after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

A British police officer took ill after helping the Skripals. Former KGB bodyguards identified as suspects in the murder denied any involvement. Yulia has been discharged and is reportedly being kept at an MI5 "safe house".

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