Any modern chemical laboratory is capable of synthesizing the substance the United Kingdom calls "Novichok" "given the broad scientific literature," the Russian embassy in the United Kingdom said in a report Friday.
"This type of agents was described in numerous publications of US, Czech, Italian, Iranian, Indian researchers who, judging by their works, did actually synthesize them. Given the broad scientific literature, it is safe to say that any modern chemical laboratory is capable of synthesizing ‘Novichoks,’" the report on the Salisbury incident reads.
Our report "Salisbury: a Classified Case" seeks to summarize the sequence of events as well as to present crucial elements of Britain’s and Russia’s position. For the first time, UK replies to Russian questions are revealed in full. Read the report: https://t.co/akllGbDhrq pic.twitter.com/yrKYRj7qMK— Russian Embassy, UK (@RussianEmbassy) 13 апреля 2018 г.
"The UK, speaking of the fact that 'Novichok' was [developed by Russia] did not explain what it meant. Neither Russia nor the Soviet Union has ever developed a substance called 'Novichok,'" the report says.
It is noted that the word "Novichok" was introduced by the West in the mid-1990s in order to identify a number of chemicals developed there based on information provided by Russian immigrant researchers.
"British persistence in the use of the Russian word "Novichok" is an attempt to artificially connect the substance with Russia," the report says.
Sergei Skripal, the former Russian military intelligence colonel who was recruited by British intelligence, and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious on March 4 at a shopping center in Salisbury, England. The UK authorities have accused Russia of orchestrating an attack on the Skripals with a Soviet-era A234 nerve agent.
After the incident, the United Kingdom announced the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats. Over 25 countries have since expelled Russian diplomats "in solidarity" with London.
Russia responded in the same manner, removing the same number of Western countries' diplomats.