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Russian: Nerve agent could be made anywhere

04 April, 2018, 01:05 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • Russia has 13 questions to OPCW over Skripal case

Russian Federation on Friday expelled 59 more diplomats from 23 countries - including one from Ireland - as relations between Moscow and the West continue to deteriorate to their lowest ebb since the cold war.

Twenty-nine nations have expelled Russian diplomats in response to the attack, which they blame Russia for committing.

On Tuesday, a senior Russian diplomat offered another explanation.

"We were able to identify it as Novichok, to identify that it was military grade nerve agent".

Lavrov also assailed the British authorities for stonewalling Russia's request for consular access to Yulia Skripal, 33, a Russian citizen whose condition has improved since she and her father fell critically ill on March 4.

Late last week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov again demanded the United Kingdom give Russian diplomats access to Yulia, who is a Russian citizen.

"We have not identified the precise source, but we have provided the scientific info to [the] government who have then used a number of other sources to piece together the conclusions", Mr Aitkenhead told Sky News.

'The United States is saying the pressure will continue.

His comments came as he hosted leaders from the three Baltic states - which have had a torrid history with their larger neighbor Russian Federation.

Because the nerve agent is so potent, the officials said, the task could have been carried out only by trained professionals familiar with chemical weapons.




Lavrov said that Russian Federation has called a meeting of the global chemical weapons watchdog for Wednesday to discuss the case and asked it to provide details of its co-operation with Britain in the poisoning probe.

He said: "Worse than a cold war is a real war". The organization says the meeting will be held at 0800GMT Wednesday.

"The March 4 attack on Skripal and his daughter in the English city of Salisbury has triggered a wave of tit-for-tat expulsions of diplomats between the West and Russian Federation and sent relations plunging to new post-Cold War lows".

Britain blames Russian Federation for the pair's poisoning with a Soviet-developed nerve agent.

The US ambassador was also ordered to shut the consulate in St Petersburg, in Russia's retaliation for the biggest expulsion of diplomats since the Cold War.

"In diplomacy, we have the principle of reciprocity and this is still the case".

The poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury triggered the worst diplomatic conflict between London and Moscow in years. Moscow vehemently denies its responsibility.

Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko in comments relayed by Russian news agencies on Tuesday called Skripal's poisoning a "provocation arranged by Britain" in order to justify high military spending because "they need a major enemy".

"The United States, in concert with many countries, made the decision to kick out Russian spies", said Nauert.

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