20:28 GMT18 January 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The house of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in the UK city of Salisbury, where the notorious case around his poisoning with a nerve agent unveiled last March, has been pronounced safe after decontamination and handed to the South Wiltshire Recovery Coordinating Group, Wiltshire Police said in a statement on Friday.

    "DEFRA [UK government's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs] has today announced that the final site of decontamination in Salisbury is safe and has been handed to the South Wiltshire Recovery Coordinating Group," the statement read.

    Deputy Chief Constable Paul Mills said that Wiltshire Police had cooperated with up to 26 partner organizations on decontamination operations.

    "The policing operation locally has been unprecedented in its size. Over 15,000 individual police duties have been worked, across 20 cordons across the two areas alone. We have seen over 1, 200 police officers from 40 different police forces provide support to the local policing response and assistance to recovery," Mills said, as quoted in the statement.

    He also pledged that investigation into the poisoning of Skripal and his daughter — as well as of UK police officer Nick Bailey, and late Dawn Sturgess and her boyfriend Charlie Rowley, who are believed to have been poisoned with the same nerve agent — would continue.

    READ MORE: Sergei Skripal's Mother Asks Police to Declare Her Son Missing — Niece

    According to media reports, the house will be fully refurbished and then brought back to use.

    This is the 12th and the final site in Salisbury to have been declared safe.

    On March 4, 2018, Skripal and his daughter Julia were found unconscious on a bench near a shopping center in Salisbury. London claimed they were poisoned with a military-grade A234 nerve agent and accused Moscow of staging the attack. London also said that it suspected Russian nationals Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, allegedly working for Russian intelligence, of performing the attack.

    However, Moscow has repeatedly refuted allegations and cited lack of evidence, while Petrov and Boshirov denied their involvement in the attack in an interview with the RT broadcaster.


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    decontamination, Poisoning of Sergei Skripal, Sergei Skripal, United Kingdom
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