Skripals were poisoned by high-purity novichok, watchdog confirms


Russian Federation has strongly denied any involvement, and insists it has destroyed all of its chemical weapons.

Zakharova charged that British officials were keeping Skripal's daughter in isolation. She said Moscow will continue to press Britain to share evidence in the case.

The worldwide chemical weapons watchdog has confirmed that Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned with a "high purity" a novichok nerve agent. She said the Security Council meeting "will most probably be on Wednesday afternoon".

Britain has called for an OPCW meeting next week to discuss the results of the organization's report. British Prime Minister Theresa May said that both of them were poisoned with the Novichok nerve agent, which was developed in the USSR. Russian Federation has denied any involvement in the poisoning and retaliated in kind.

Russian Federation has said it does not have such nerve agents and President Vladimir Putin said it was nonsense to think that Moscow would have poisoned Skripal and his daughter.

Georgy Kalamanov, Russia's deputy minister of industry and trade, told Interfax news agency Thursday it's impossible to pinpoint the agent's origin and reaffirmed Moscow's demand for a probe that would involve Russia.

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A team from the OPCW visited the United Kingdom on 19 March, 15 days after the Skripals were found slumped on a park bench in Salisbury and taken to a hospital, along with a police officer who was among the first on the scene.

The Russian embassy said that it doubted the authenticity of the statement and suggested it had been crafted to support Britain's version of events.

Johnson's statement came after the global chemical watchdog confirmed Britain's finding that Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with a toxin of "high purity".

He added: "There remains no alternative explanation about who was responsible - only Russian Federation has the means, motive and record".

Furthermore the watchdog's executive summary of the findings did not specifically name the chemical agent, although said it has been named in the full classified report.

The organization said the chemical was of "high purity" but did not identify its source.

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A Foreign Office spokesman said it had asked the OPCW to distribute the report to all state parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention, including Russian Federation.

The watchdog did not blame Russian Federation for the attack nor did it name the specific chemical agent used.

Yulia, who was released from hospital on Monday, said in a statement she was suffering the effects of the poisoning, while her father remained seriously ill.

In a statement released by London's Metropolitan Police, Yulia Skripal said the embassy had offered assistance but "at the moment, I do not wish to avail myself of their services".

In a declassified summary of its findings, the OPCW did not make any assessment on who carried out the attack on 66-year-old Sergei and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury. Now, the Bishop of Salisbury and the Rector of the Parish in which the Skripals were found, are inviting members of the public to a special service to celebrate the community life of the city.

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