Chemical weapons watchdog confirms UK findings in Russian ex-spy case

UK backed by international watchdog on Salisbury nerve agent findings

The global chemical weapons watchdog concluded on Thursday that the lethal poison that struck the Skripals last month in England was a highly pure type of Novichok nerve agent, backing Britain's findings.

The OPCW report states that experts found particles of a toxic chemical in samples taken from the site, where the Skripals were poisoned in Salisbury.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) released a report on the suspected nerve agent attack on Sergei and Yulia Skripal in the English city of Salisbury on March 4.

The report puts beyond doubt that it was highly likely Russian Federation carried out the attack, people close to the investigation said, adding that the nerve agent could only be concocted in a very sophisticated laboratory by highly capable chemists who were familiar with the agent.

It noted that the chemical was of "high purity" with an "almost complete absence" of any impurities. Claiming that the substance used in the attack had been a Novichok-class nerve agent developed in the Soviet Union, London rushed to accuse Russian Federation of being involved in the incident.

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Britain has called for an OPCW meeting next week to discuss the results of the organization's report.

"The results of analysis by OPCW-designated laboratories of environmental and biomedical samples confirm the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used in Salisbury and severely injured three people", the summary said.

Russia has denied Britain's charges of involvement in the first known offensive use of such a nerve agent on European soil since World War Two and suggested Britain carried out the attack itself to stoke anti-Russian hysteria.

Ms Skripal, who was released from hospital this week, said in a statement she was still suffering effects of the poisoning and her father remained seriously ill. In a statement issued Wednesday night by Britain's Metropolitan Police Service that was attributed to her, she rejected an offer of assistance from the Russian Embassy.

"I thank my cousin Viktoria for her concern for us, but ask that she does not visit me or try to contact me for the time being", Yulia Skripal said.

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Yulia Skripal and her father Sergei Skripal, a former Russian spy.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson hailed the findings. Russian Federation denies any involvement, saying Britain hasn't provided evidence to support its assertion.

It is believed that British authorities immediately spirited Ms Skripal away to a secure location when she was discharged from hospital earlier this week. Russian Federation vehemently denies any involvement, and it contains responded by expelling exactly the very same number of diplomats.

The Russian embassy in London immediately raised doubts over the authenticity of the statement, claiming it "only strengthens suspicions that we are dealing with a forcible isolation of the Russian citizen".

"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.

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The purity of the nerve agent makes it hard to tell when the agent was manufactured, since without impurities it does not degrade over time.

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