Chemical weapons watchdog confirms UK findings on Russian-made nerve agent

Salisbury hospital does not confirm Skripals were treated for chemical poisoning — embassy

Testing by OPCW laboratories, the details of which were kept confidential, also found the substance used in Salisbury to be of "a high purity", which supports the British government's assertion that a state was involved.

The global chemical weapons watchdog on Thursday confirmed Britain's finding that a former Russian spy and his daughter were poisoned with a nerve agent, as Russia continued to deny suggestions that it was behind the attack.

"The results of analysis by OPCW-designated laboratories of environmental and biomedical samples collected by the OPCW team confirm the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used in Salisbury and severely injured three people", the OPCW said.

The OPCW sent a team of specialists to the United Kingdom last month to investigate the March 4 attack.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) prepared a report on the investigation into the poisoning of ex-colonel GRU Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

"In the interest of transparency, and because unlike the Russians we have nothing to hide, we have asked the OPCW to publish the executive summary for all to see and to circulate the full report to all state parties of the OPCW, including Russia", Johnson said in a statement.

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UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, however, claimed the findings meant that there was "no doubt" of Russia's responsibility for the incident. "The Kremlin must give answers", he added.

In his speech, Fleming also revealed that GCHQ had carried out a major cyber offensive campaign against Islamic State (IS) militants, the first time, he said, Britain had systematically and persistently degraded an enemy's efforts as part of wider action.

"It demonstrates how reckless Russian Federation is prepared to be", he said. We must, as a world community, stand up for the rules based order which keeps us all safe. "How comfortable they are at putting ordinary lives at risk".

The poisoning of Skripal, a former double agent who settled in Britain in 2010 after being released by Moscow in a spy swap, shows "how reckless Russian Federation is prepared to be", the head of Britain's GCHQ spy agency said on Thursday. Yulia, 33, was released from the hospital earlier this week, but her 66-year-old father is recovering more slowly. Yulia was discharged from the hospital on Monday.

In retaliation, British and U.S officials expelled Russian diplomats from their embassies - and Russia answered by expelling British and USA diplomats from Moscow.

Others include intelligence that Russia has made nerve agents and studied how to use them for assassinations, and the view of Russian President Vladimir Putin's government that traitors are legitimate targets.

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