Published: Sat, April 14, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

Russian Federation spied on Skripal and his daughter for at least five years

Russian Federation spied on Skripal and his daughter for at least five years

Russian special services have been monitoring Sergei and Yulia Skripal for at least five years, as it was stated in the letter of Mark Sedwill, the National Security Adviser, to Jens Stoltenberg, the Nato Secretary General, as Sky News reported.

He said only Russian Federation had the "technical means, operational experience and the motive" for the attack.

On Thursday, OPCW confirmed Britain's finding that Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with a nerve agent in the English city of Salisbury on March 4.

It was the first incident of a nerve agent being deployed in Europe since World War II. The central element of Britain's case against Russian Federation is the unusual nerve agent used in the attack, which was developed in Soviet laboratories during the last years of the Soviet Union.

"This programme subsequently included investigation of ways of delivering nerve agents, including by application to door handles".

In a letter to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation secretary general Jens Stoltenberg on Friday, Sedwill said: "We therefore continue to judge that only Russia has the technical means, operational experience and motive for the attack on the Skripals and that it is highly likely that the Russian state was responsible".

According to the data, Yulia Skripal's e-mail accounts were the target of the specialists of Russian intelligence service.

Alexander Yakovenko announced the Russian Embassy would be publishing its own report on the attack.

Moscow has vigorously denied any involvement and suggested that the United Kingdom carried out the attack to stoke anti-Russian hysteria. The watchdog did not say who was responsible for the poisoning. It insists that the nerve agent used on the Skripals could easily have been manufactured in any of the other countries that have advanced chemical research programs.

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It says that Russian Federation continued to produce the agents after the breakup of the Soviet Union, but did not declare the work to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

Samples taken from the home found a high concentration of the nerve agent - believed to be Soviet-produced novichock - on the door handles.

Sedwill goes on to claim that Russian Federation was likely the only former Soviet republic to pursue "an offensive chemical weapons programme after independence".

Also Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov responded to an worldwide chemical weapons watchdog's report on the poisoning.

"I want to underline: the OPCW only has confirmed the composition of the chemical agent", he said.

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".

Britain has said the use of such an obscure poison indicates Moscow was either to blame or had lost control over its nerve agents.

"Normally, you don't worry about some impurities because they don't get in the way of the major task that you're using the chemical for, which is to poison someone".

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