Watchdog Confirms Nerve Agent Used on Ex-Russian Spy was of High Purity

Published April 12th, 2018 - 09:00 GMT
British police at the place of chemical attack (AFP/File Photo)
British police at the place of chemical attack (AFP/File Photo)

The independent scientists from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPWC) have confirmed Thursday that the nerve agent Novichok was used in Salisbury, England on March 4 in a chemical attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter.

The international chemical weapons watchdog has said an analysis of samples gathered from Sergei Skripal, Yulia Skripal and detective sergeant Nick Bailey -- the officer affected during the emergency response -- confirmed the U.K.’s assessment of the incident.

The chemical weapon used in Salisbury was of “high purity”, the watchdog said.

The U.K. has said its experts from the Porton Down defense research center concluded that the military-grade nerve agent that was used in the attack belonged to a Russia-developed chemical weapon group called Novichok.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson reacted to the OPCW findings saying: “The Kremlin must give answers.”

“In the interest of transparency, and because unlike the Russians we have nothing to hide, we have asked the OPCW to publish the executive summary for all to see and to circulate the full report to all state parties of the OPCW, including Russia,” Johnson said in a statement.

“We will now work tirelessly with our partners to help to stamp out the grotesque use of weapons of this kind and we have called a session of the OPCW Executive Council next Wednesday to discuss next steps. The Kremlin must give answers.”

Skripal, 66, and his daughter, 33, were admitted to a hospital after being found unconscious on a public bench on March 4 in Salisbury.



“Mr. Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia,” specifically from the Novichok group, British Prime Minister Theresa May said following an immediate assessment by British experts.

The incident has drawn comparisons to the 2006 death of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko after drinking radioactive tea. Former KGB bodyguards identified as suspects in the murder denied any involvement.

Yulia Skripal has been discharged from a hospital after more than a month, the hospital where she was receiving treatment said Tuesday.

Salisbury District Hospital said Sergei Skripal was still in the hospital but showing progress.

Sergei Skripal was granted refuge in the U.K. following a 2010 spy exchange between the U.S. and Russia. Before the exchange, he had been serving a 13-year prison term for leaking information to the British intelligence.

A worldwide expulsion of 121 Russian diplomats followed the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats from the U.K.

NATO and the EU have supported the U.K. and condemned the attack.


This article has been adapted from its original source.

© Copyright Andolu Ajansi

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