22:00 GMT +323 October 2018
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    In this file photo taken on March 8, 2018 members of the emergency services in green biohazard encapsulated suits re-affix the tent over the bench where Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found in critical condition on March 4 at The Maltings shopping centre in Salisbury, southern England

    UK Assumed Salisbury Toxin's Origin to Convince West Moscow Guilty - Reports

    © AFP 2018 / Ben STANSALL
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - British intelligence agencies speculate that the highly toxic nerve agent used in Salisbury was made at a research institute in southwest Russia, local media reported Friday.

    UK spies, who briefed their allies last month on the March 4 attack on Russian double agent Sergei Skripal, allegedly pinpointed the source to a laboratory in the city of Shikhany in the Saratov region, The Times newspaper said.

    The outlet reports that the information about the nerve agent's origin was used to persuade world leaders of Moscow's involvement.

    This comes a day after the publication cited unnamed British security and government sources who said they had traced the chemical back to its source. They admitted there was no 100-percent certainty but rather a high degree of confidence.

    London has blamed Russia for the poisoning and rallied its allies behind it last month to expel over a hundred of Russian diplomats. Moscow has denied the claim and requested evidence or samples of the substance, identified by London as A234, a weapons-grade nerve agent.

    Earlier in the day, the UN security Council met at Russia's request to discuss UK Prime Minister Theresa May's letter, in which she reiterated that it was "highly likely" that Russia was behind the Salisbury attack.

    Russia's permanent representative to the United Nations told the UN Security Council that the UK is engaged in a propaganda war against Russia aiming to discredit the country globally.

    Related:

    Russian Foreign Ministry: What Happened to Skripal's Pets, Why's UK Silent?
    Skripal Poison Could Have Been Produced in US, UK, France - EU Researcher
    OPCW Needs Intact Substance to Identify Skripal Poison - Analysts
    UK Refused to Provide Russia Samples of Nerve Agent Used to Poison Skripal
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    Sergey Skripal, Salisbury, United Kingdom
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