United Kingdom says Russian Federation monitored daughter of former spy for years

The chemical weapons watchdog confirmed Wednesday that Novichok was used in the attack on former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia  AFP

BORIS JOHNSON has pledged to "stamp out" the use of chemical weapons after worldwide inspectors confirmed a nerve agent poisoned Sergei and Yulia Skripal.

After the publication of the OPCW report British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson said "there can be no doubt what was used and there remains no alternative explanation about who was responsible - only Russian Federation has the means, motive and record".

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.

Vil Mirzayanov, who led counter-intelligence for the former Soviet Union's military and helped develop novichok, told The Daily Mail the chemical "causes you convulsions and you can't breathe and after that you die, if you get enough of a dose of it".

But British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said: "There can be no doubt what was used and there remains no alternative explanation about who was responsible".

He said only has the "technical means, operational experience and the motive" for the attack.

The Skripals' poisoning provoked a diplomatic crisis between Russian Federation and the United Kingdom, as well as other Western governments, resulting in the expulsion of more than 150 diplomats on each side.

The letter continues: "By 1993, when Russia signed the Chemical Weapons Convention, it is likely that some Novichoks had passed acceptance testing, allowing their use by the Russian military".

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There are several variants of Novichok, a binary weapon containing two less toxic chemicals that, when mixed, react to produce a poison several times more lethal than sarin or VX.

Police have said that the highest concentrations of the Novichok nerve agent were found on Mr Skripal's front door, suggesting that was where the nerve agent had been deposited.

Britain has revealed more evidence of Russia's involvement in the poisoning of Sergei Skripal. Russian Federation retaliated with tit-for-tat expulsions, while its spy chief Sergei Naryshkin last week accused U.K and USA secret services of carrying out the poisoning as a "grotesque provocation".

In her statement, she said that she has been made aware of the Russian embassy's attempts to contact her but she did not wish to avail of their services for the moment.

Moscow on Thursday said it would not accept the conclusions of the worldwide chemical arms watchdog, unless Russian experts are given access to the samples used.

Russia's ambassador to the, Alexander Yakovenko, dismissed the charges Friday as unfounded and untrue.

"We have every reason to believe this could be a question of the deliberate, forcible detention of a Russian citizen or possibly their coercion into a staged announcement", Zakharova said. His daughter thanked the Salisbury hospital staff, adding: "I have left my father in their care, and he is still seriously ill".

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