Chemical watchdog backs Britain: Nerve agent poisoned former spy

REUTERS

REUTERS

The Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has confirmed this Thursday suspicions of London on poisoning of Russian ex-spy and his daughter in Salisbury (in South of England).

The worldwide 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.

Yulia Skripal said Wednesday that she was discharged from the hospital this week after treatment for the poisoning, according to her statement issued by the Metropolitan Police in London.

Tests by military experts at the Porton Down laboratories in Wiltshire found that novichok, one of a group of deadly chemical compounds developed by the Soviet government in the 1970s and 1980s, was responsible for the poisoning.

Thorough testing commissioned by the watchdog concluded that the nerve agent was of "high purity" and confirmed the UK's findings on the particular strain.

A German Foreign Ministry spokesman said: it was "now up to Russian Federation to finally play a constructive role and answer the open questions".

It added that "the toxic chemical was of high purity".

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There were signs of a global effort to head off a direct confrontation between Russian Federation and the West. Sanders says, "The president holds Syria and Russian Federation responsible for this chemical weapons attack".

Russian Federation has denied possessing the nerve agent used, while President Vladimir Putin has said it was nonsense to think Moscow would have poisoned Skripal and his daughter.

Russian Federation has strongly denied involvement in the Skripal's poisoning and challenged the United Kingdom assessment that novichok was to blame.

Russia's Foreign Ministry however said Britain should prove the father- daughter duo are not being held hostage.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May rallied allies in the U.S., Europe, Australia and Canada to conduct coordinated expulsions of more than 150 Russian diplomats last month after she told parliament it was "highly likely" that Russia was responsible.

She said her father "is still seriously ill" and said she herself is "still suffering from the effects of the nerve agent used against us". Yulia declines Russian help Meanwhile, Yulia has said she did not wish to take up the offer of assistance from the Russian embassy in London.

At the same time, Russian Federation stepped up demands for diplomatic access to Skripal, who remains hospitalized, and his daughter, who is continuing her recovery in an undisclosed location after having been released from a hospital. Skripal, a former Russian intelligence officer who became a British mole, had been swapped for the "Anna Chapman" spy ring in the US; Russia also added three other Russian turncoats, including the man who blew Chapman's cover. Zakharova reiterated that British officials were keeping Yulia Skripal in isolation and said Moscow would continue to demand access to her. She said the Security Council meeting "will most probably be on Wednesday afternoon".

The worldwide chemical weapons watchdog has confirmed Britain's finding that a former spy and his daughter were poisoned with a nerve agent. "If British authorities are interested in assuring the public that this is not the case, they must urgently provide tangible evidence that Yulia is all right and not deprived of her freedom".

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