World News

Britain says it has proof Russian Federation stockpiled lethal nerve agent

Britain says it has proof Russian Federation stockpiled lethal nerve agent

In Moscow on Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin called it "total rubbish, drivel and nonsense" that someone in Russia would carry out such "antics" so close to Russia's presidential election and the football World Cup that starts in June in Russia.

Global experts are due in the United Kingdom to assess the type of nerve agent used to poison ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson claimed to have evidence that Russian Federation, for over 10 years, stockpiled the nerve agent that was used to attack a former spy and his daughter on March 4.

"When you have a nerve agent, you check it against certain samples you have in your laboratories", he said Saturday. "Russia doesn't have such means".

The foreign secretary said officials from the Netherlands-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons would also arrive in Britain on Monday to take samples of the nerve agent used to poison the Skripals.

Speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, the foreign secretary said Moscow has breached global rules by investigating the ways that nerve agents can be used for assassination.

Britain and Russian Federation have each expelled 23 diplomats, broken off high-level contacts and taken other punitive steps in the escalating tit-for-tat dispute, which clouded the run-up to Sunday's presidential election in Russian Federation.

"We actually have evidence within the last 10 years that Russian Federation has not only been investigating the delivery of nerve agents for the purposes of assassination, but has also been creating and stockpiling Novichok", Johnson told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show.

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Putin has said "it's nonsense that Russian Federation would do such a thing" and "more people would have died in England if it had been a military nerve agent".

Putin dismissed the British accusations, emphasizing that an attack on Skripal would make no sense.

"We're ready to work together. We said it right away", he said. "But we are not taking it off the agenda, joint efforts are possible". I believe this is a pattern of behaviour we have seen'.

Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain announced the following week that the poison used in the attack was Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent developed by Soviet scientists for use on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops.

Prime Minister Theresa May told MPs last week that the substance used in the attack had been identified as belonging to a group of military-grade nerve agents known as Novichok, developed by the Soviet Union. Tests to independently verify the British findings are expected to take at least two weeks, Britain's Foreign Office said.

Russia's ambassador to the European Union, Vladimir Chizhov, has also insisted Moscow "had nothing to do" with the attack and appeared to suggest that Britain itself may have been the source of the chemical agent.

He told ITV's Peston on Sunday: "We support exactly what the prime minister said and we condemn Russian Federation for this, condemn them".


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