United Kingdom appears to be 'destroying' evidence in Skripal case - Russian envoy

United Kingdom appears to be 'destroying' evidence in Skripal case - Russian envoy

Russian Federation has denied everything over the Skripal case, including suggesting the United Kingdom may have carried out the attack.

Russia's intelligence agencies have been spying on former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia for at least five years, according to previously classified intelligence over the Salisbury attack that has been made public. Officials say they were poisoned with the Russian nerve agent Novichok.

Sedwill's letter to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation chief detailed the grounds on which British authorities hold Russian Federation responsible of a suspected nerve agent attack targeting Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury six weeks ago.

A program set up in Russian Federation in the 2000s trained personnel from special units in the use of chemical warfare agents, he said, including investigating how nerve agents could be administered through door handles.

The OPCW confirmed on Thursday that the lethal poison used in the attack on the Skripals was a military-grade nerve agent "of high purity".

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Last week, the chief executive of the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory in Porton Down, Britain's premier chemical weapons laboratory, said its scientists could not identify "the precise source" of the chemical, though its purity indicated that it was nearly certainly created by a "state actor".

"There is no plausible alternative explanation", he added.

"The British government still hasn't produced any evidence in support of its position that would confirm their official version", he told a news conference at the Russian embassy in London.

Russia's ambassador to Britain has accused the British authorities of destroying evidence in the Salisbury nerve agent attack.

It goes on to say that "during the 2000s", Russian Federation created a special unit to develop chemical weapons for use as tools in state-sponsored attacks and to "train personnel from special units in the use of these weapons".

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He said, based on British intelligence, that Russian Federation had developed a next generation nerve-agent group called Novichok and stockpiled small amounts of the agent within the last decade.

Referring to the 2006 death of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko, Sedwill said Russian Federation had the operational means to carry out such an attack against Skripal.

Mr Yakovenko complained at the continued refusal of the British authorities to grant consular access to Ms Skripal following her discharge from hospital.

"We have every reason to believe this could be a question of the deliberate, forcible detention of a Russian citizen or possibly their coercion into a staged announcement", foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

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