Russian Federation expels 23 British diplomats

by Abel Hampton March 19, 2018, 0:42
Russian Federation expels 23 British diplomats

"Russia does not have any such agents, we destroyed it all".

Technical experts from Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons will visit Britain on Monday to collect samples of the nerve agent used in the attack.

In his first comments on the poisoning, Putin said the attack on ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter was a "tragedy", but added that if the British claim that they were poisoned by the Soviet-designed nerve agent were true, the victims would have died instantly.

Britain is to target wealth linked to the Kremlin in response to the poisoning of a former spy, foreign minister Boris Johnson said Sunday ahead of a visit by global chemical weapons experts. The OPCW, based in The Hague, implements the Chemical Weapons Convention.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May told MPs that personnel from the Defence Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Centre at Porton Down in Wiltshire had identified the substance used on them as being part of a group of military-grade nerve agents developed by Russian Federation known as Novichok.

Its existence remained secret until the mid-'90s, when information regarding its production was revealed as part of a deliberate leak by disgruntled Soviet scientist and whistle-blower Vil Mirzayanov.

Those countries, not Russian Federation, had been intensively testing the substance since the end of the 1990s, Zakharova said.

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.

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

"And Porton Down, as we now all know, is the largest military facility in the United Kingdom that has been dealing with chemical weapons research".

"But pressed on whether he was suggesting Porton Down was "responsible" for the nerve agent in the attack, Mr Chizhov said: "I don't have evidence of anything being used".

Johnson said Britain's National Security Council will meet later this week to decide "what further measures, if any" may be taken, and that the government may decide to target Russian wealth in Britain. It says they are stored securely and disposed of safely when no longer required.

"When you have a nerve agent, you check it against certain samples you have in your laboratories", he said.

"We will never tolerate a threat to the life of British citizens and others on British soil from the Russian government".

Meanwhile, Johnson is set to meet his European Union counterparts and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg for talks in Brussels tomorrow to deliberate on joint action against Russian Federation. "This is not the response of a country that really wants to engage in getting to the bottom of the matter".

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

Moscow announced the measures on the eve of a presidential election which incumbent Vladimir Putin should comfortably win. On Sunday, Johnson wrote that Britain is not alone in facing Russia's "reckless behavior".

He stressed that Russian Federation had "nothing to do" with the poisoning and that it did not stockpile the poison.

Russia has expelled 23 British diplomats in a carefully calibrated retaliatory move against London, which has accused the Kremlin of orchestrating a nerve toxin attack on a former Russian double agent and his daughter in southern England. Moreover, the British Consulate General in St. Petersburg is due to be closed and the British Council would stop operating in Russian Federation.


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