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Weapons experts to test Novichok in Skripal case
March 19, 2018, 7:58 am

The Kremlin has said Moscow wants to work with the British on investigating the nerve agent but that London has shown no interest so far [PPIO]

A delegation from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) will visit the UK over the next two days to assess the nerve agent Novichok which was allegedly used in the assassination attempt of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal.

The Novichok nerve agent was developed by the defunct Soviet Union in the 1970s but was scrapped by Russia when it destroyed its chemical weapons stockpile and retired all such programs in 1992.

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has told British media that his government has evidence that Moscow has been experimenting with nerve agents such as Novichok for the purpose of carrying out assassination attempts.

Russia has dismissed such accusations as flights of fancy and said that there are other countries who have since the 1980s shown interest in the manufacture and delivery of Novichok.

President Vladimir Putin, who won reelection on Sunday, has dismissed the allegations saying it was ludicrous that Russia would carry out such an act just days ahead of the presidential election and the FIFA World Cup.

He said that Russia wanted to work with the British in investigating the agent but that such cooperation was not forthcoming from London.

Putin also raised doubt that the Novichok nerve agent used was military grade because it would have killed many people on the spot.

Skripal and his daughter were found slumped unconscious on a bench in Salisbury, England. They have been hospitalized in critical condition since March 4.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

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