Spy poisoning: Experts to test nerve toxin

Kommersant  Yuri Senatorov via Reuters FILE

Kommersant Yuri Senatorov via Reuters FILE

Labour has faced intense criticism for its response to the attack after leaving open the possibility that Russian Federation was being framed.

Russian President and Presidential candidate Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during a rally and concert marking the fourth anniversary of Russia's annexation of the Crimea region, at Manezhnaya Square in central Moscow, March 19, 2018.

The Foreign Secretary said Moscow has investigated ways of delivering nerve agents for assassination over the last 10 years in a breach of worldwide rules.

Global experts are to test the nerve toxin used on a former Russian double agent in the city of Salisbury.

Getty Images
Getty Images

British weapons experts say the nerve agent is of Russian origin, and the Kremlin has been asked to explain how it came to be used in England - if Russia itself did not authorise the attack. "We have destroyed all our chemical arsenals under control of worldwide observers".

The foreign ministry said that if Russian Federation has been stockpiling nerve agents this would amount to a violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, of which Moscow is a signatory.

The results are expected to take a "minimum of two weeks", the Foreign Office added.

"Their response has been a mix of smug sarcasm and denial and obfuscation", he said.

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"Russia had nothing to do with it", Chizhov told the BBC.

"Where people have obtained wealth by corruption and where we can see a link with the Kremlin.it may be possible to have unexplained wealth orders and other sanctions on those individuals", Mr. Johnson told BBC's Andrew Marr Show.

On Saturday, Russia's ambassador to the European Union, Vladimir Chizhov, said Moscow "had nothing to do" with the attack, accusing Johnson of "acting in an inappropriate manner" by pointing the finger at Mr Putin.

The national security council will meet early next week to discuss Moscow's tit-for-tat response to the UK's expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats.

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UK Prime Minister Theresa May has told MPs that Porton Down - Britain's military research base - identified the substance used as being part of a group of military-grade nerve agents known as Novichok developed by the Soviet Union.

"And part of this programme has involved producing and stockpiling quantities of Novichok", a statement said.

Russia's ambassador to the EU, Vladimir Chizhov, suggested the nerve agent may have come from the Porton Down laboratory, which is about eight miles from Salisbury.

He said a number of scientists who claim to be responsible for creating some nerve agents "have been whisked out of Russian Federation and are now residing in the United Kingdom" but no stockpiles of chemical weapons had left the country after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

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Johnson said it was "not the response of a country that really believed itself to be innocent".

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