The head of the Russian delegation to the OPCW, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Georgy Kalamanov, stated Wednesday that there was no doubt that the laboratory in Porton Down has worked on a Novichok-type substance.
"And there is no doubt that the UK Defense Ministry's laboratory in Porton Down, located in close proximity to Salisbury and Amesbury, has worked and continues to work with Novichok-type agents. Is it not the reason for London's refusal to act in accordance with the provisions of Article IX of the CWC [Chemical Weapons Convention] to clarify this fictionary story?" the official noted.
He added that Western countries have conducted research on the various chemical compounds linked to the "so-called Novichok agent," stressing that over 140 patents linked to defense and even combat use of toxic agents of this type had been issued in the United States.
Kalamanov also opposed the UK move to give the OPCW the power to attribute responsibility for chemical attacks, which was previously supported by 82 delegations out of 193.
“The Russian Federation, like many other states, considers illegitimate the decision adopted on June 27 at a special session of the Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention to give the technical secretariat of the OPCW the power of 'identifying the guilty' party in the use of chemical weapons,” the deputy minister said.
On June 30 a couple from Amesbury, a town just a few miles from Salisbury, were hospitalized in critical condition. According to UK police, they had handled an item allegedly contaminated with the same nerve agent that was used in the Salisbury case.