The chemical substance in the case of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal poisoning in the UK city of Salisbury with great certainty has been produced in one of western laboratories, chemical weapons expert said.
The head of Chemical and Biological Weapon Restrictive Conventions Analytical Research Center under the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation Viktor Kholstov said that the chemical agent in Skripal's poisoning case has been produced in western laboratories.
"The issue of 'Novichoks' has gained widespread in a considerable number of western laboratories. It is fair to say that today there are at least 20 of such laboratories which undertake work related to 'Novichoks'," expert said. "It can be said with great certainty that the manufacture is somewhere at those laboratories," he said in an intervew with the Russian Investigative Committee.
Former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious on March 4 at a shopping center in the UK city of Salisbury. UK Government was quick to accuse Moscow for being behind the alleged "attack". Russian government refuted all allegations, pointing at the lack of evidence to support such claims and demanded access to the case's materials, including samples of the nerve agent, which UK believes to be the substance from the so-called "Novichok" group, more commonly known as A-234.
Viktor Kholstov noted that all Russian chemical weapons stockpiles had been destroyed in full capacity, as well as every production facility had been closed down under the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction which had entered into force in 1997.
Recently, the Russian Envoy to the the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Alexander Shulgin stated that London cannot provide real evidence of its version of the Skripal case, saying that the OPCW report on the Salisbury case is "questionable," and that the final conclusions can be made only after receiving the chemical and spectral analysis of the samples. Envoy said that the British side suggested that Moscow confess to one of the two invented versions: either that the poisoning of Skripals was a deliberate act of Russia or that Russia lost control over the allegedly available arsenals of poisonous substances.
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