Britain calls for United Nations meeting on OPCW nerve attack findings

Sergei Skripal and daughter Yulia were poisoned

Sergei Skripal on March 4, convicted in Russian Federation of spying for Britain, and his daughter Yulia, were reportedly affected by a nerve agent in Salisbury.

"The programme subsequently included investigation of ways of delivering nerve agents, including by application to door handles".

Mark Sedwill made the assertion in a letter to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg explaining Britain's conclusion that the Russian government is to blame for poisoning the Skripals with a military-grade nerve agent on March 4.

On Thursday, the global body that monitors compliance with chemical weapons treaties confirmed Britain's assessment that the toxin used in Salisbury, England, against the Skripals was a powerful, military-grade agent known as novichok, which experts say was developed in the Soviet Union. "Only Russia has the means, motive and record", he said.

He said Russian Federation had a "proven record of conducting state-sponsored assassination" and that it was "highly likely" some defectors - like Mr Skripal, a former GRU officer who was exchanged in a spy swap in 2010 - may be regarded as "legitimate targets". "It is highly likely that Novichoks were developed to prevent detection by the West and to circumvent global chemical weapons controls", he said.

"In 2017, we eliminated all chemical weapons", Yakovenko said.

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Mr Skripal was a former GRU officer, who was convicted of espionage in 2004.

The embassy believes that Sedwill's letter published on April 13 is "yet another confirmation there exists no proof of Russia's alleged involvement in the Salisbury incident". The U.K. called the Russian demand "perverse" and said the Chemical Weapons Convention didn't provide "for a victim to engage the likely perpetrator". "It is unlikely that Novichoks could be made and deployed by non-state actors (eg a criminal or terrorist group), especially at the level of purity confirmed by OPCW". Maria Zakharova, spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, told reporters that the report was part of a continuing British plot against Russia.

The poisoning of Skripal, a former double agent who settled in Britain in 2010 after being released in a spy swap, showed "how reckless Russian Federation is prepared to be", the head of Britain's GCHQ spy agency said.

"I find myself in a totally different life than the ordinary one I left just over a month ago, and I am seeking to come to terms with my prospects, whilst also recovering from this attack on me", she said.

He also said Russia could not be sure about the authenticity of a statement issued by Yulia Skripal on Wednesday in which she declined the offer of help from the Russian embassy.

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