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Poisonings: Nerve agent tests prove United Kingdom was right

Poisonings: Nerve agent tests prove United Kingdom was right

The lethal poison that struck down a former Russian spy and his daughter last month in England was a highly pure type of Novichok nerve agent, the global chemical weapons watchdog has concluded, backing Britain's findings.

Novichok is a powerful class of nerve agents the Soviet Union developed in the 1980s.

Police say traces of a Novichok nerve agent have been found at sites across Salisbury at low concentrations following the attack - with the highest concentration found on the door handle of Mr Skripal's front door.

The letter says the nerve agent used to poison the Skripals had most likely been made at a laboratory in Shikhany, near Volgograd, which is a branch of the State Institute for Organic Chemistry and Technology. "We will now work closely with our partners to clarify grotesque use of this weapon and convene OPCW council to discuss next steps", Johnson said Thursday through a statement collected by Reuters. Russian Federation has denied anything to do with the incident, and offered to help investigate.

According to the report, "the toxic chemical was of high purity".

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British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson reacted to the OPCW findings saying: "The Kremlin must give answers".

Britain said the report's characterization of the substance as highly purified supported its stance that the chemical could have been produced only by a state laboratory, although Moscow refuses to provide samples against which it could be matched.

Police who launched an investigation into the attempted murders of Mr Skripal and his daughter, who was visiting him from Russian Federation, believe that the pair first came into contact with the novichok nerve agent at his home in Salisbury, Wiltshire.

"We do not have any grounds not to think that [the OPCW report] is a continuation of a provocation carried out by British special services", Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Thursday during a weekly news conference.

"I have access to friends and family, and I have been made aware of my specific contacts at the Russian Embassy who have kindly offered me their assistance in any way they can", the ex-spy's daughter said.

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Viktoria had been quoted widely in the Russian media following a phone conversation she claimed to have had with Yulia from hospital last week.

"We have every reason to believe this could be a question of the deliberate, forcible detention of a Russian citizen".

He said: "We want to meet Yulia and we want proof that she is alright and is in good condition".

"As for "intelligence", it should be remembered that the United Kingdom has a vast record of misleading the government and the public, which entailed catastrophic consequences", the embassy said.

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