Published: Wed, April 04, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

Ex-spy poisoning row: Britain unable to identify source of nerve agent

Ex-spy poisoning row: Britain unable to identify source of nerve agent

Gary Aitkenhead, chief executive at Porton Down, the UK Ministry of Defence's science lab, told Sky News on Tuesday that investigators have identified the poison to be military-grade Novichok, which was designed in Russian Federation during the Cold War, but "have not verified the precise source" of it.

Aitkenhead said Tuesday that the attack with a highly toxic Novichok nerve agent was "probably only within the capabilities of a state actor".

"We hope that during those discussions a full stop will be placed on (the issue of) what happened" to Skripal, Putin said ahead of the meeting on Wednesday of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

The British government said several pieces of information contributed to its conclusion that the Russian government was responsible for the nerve agent attack, including intelligence that Russia had produced Novichok within the last decade and had investigated ways of delivering nerve agents for assassination.

On Tuesday, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said it would hold an emergency meeting on the case Wednesday at its headquarters in The Hague at the request of Russian Federation, which is demanding Britain hand over its evidence.

Aitkenhead said the British government had "other inputs" it could use to determine the origin of the nerve agent, some of them intelligence-based.

Yury Filatov, Russia's ambassador to Ireland, said Russia wants Britain to "provide every possible element of evidence they might have in their hands" about the attack.

Britain says the Soviet-made nerve agent Novichok was used in the attack last month.

He said: "Worse than the Cold War is a real war".

NYPD Blue producer dies at age 74
NY producer and screenwriter Steven Bochco , remembered for series as a sad song on Hill Street Blues , Law of Los Angeles (L.A. It would go on to win 26 of them, and led Bochco on a course to earn several Peabody awards in addition to his 10 Emmys .

Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were attacked with the nerve agent on 4 March. We identified that it was from this family and that it's a military-grade nerve agent.

Putin said there were 20 countries that could manufacture the nerve agent, adding he was "surprised at the speed with which the anti-Russian campaign was promoted and accelerated".

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday suggesting that the British government may be behind the poisoning to distract attention from problems around Brexit.

More than 20 countries joined the United States in expelling Russian diplomats last week out of solidarity with the UK.

"Russia is interested in establishing the whole truth of the matter", he said.

His comments come a day before an extraordinary meeting - called by Russian Federation - with the world's chemical weapons watchdog, the executive council of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). "If there was any hint that anything that we have would be leaving our four walls, then we wouldn't be allowed to operate". Russian officials are seeking to visit her in hospital.

The March 4 poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the English city of Salisbury sent shockwaves across Europe.

The attack has sparked a crisis in relations between Russian Federation and the West.

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