Chemical Inspectors Confirm UK Findings on Nerve Agent

Russian ambassador to the UK Alexander Vladimirovich Yakovenko

Russian ambassador to the UK Alexander Vladimirovich Yakovenko

A nerve agent was used to poison a Russian former spy and his daughter, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said, as its inquiry backed the United Kingdom on the toxin's identity.

According to a declassified summary issued by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the body has confirmed Britain's findings on the identity of the nerve agent used in the attack, although not on its origin.

Skripal and his daughter were poisoned on March 4 in the English city of Salisbury.

Following the report's release, U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said there was no doubt Russian Federation was responsible for the attempted murder of Sergei and Yulia Skripals.

The OPCW, which does identify the chemical by its complex formula in a classified report that has not been made public, also notes in its summary that the chemical had an "almost complete absence" of impurities.

Russian Federation has vehemently denied involvement and waged a propaganda battle to try to discredit Britain's account of the attack, which sparked an global row resulting in the expulsions of diplomats from all sides. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Britain would have to apologize to Russian Federation for its "mad accusations".

The deadliness of the agent depended on the dose and how it was inhaled. The goal was only to confirm the identification of the nerve agent used.

He added, "The high purity of the substance will strengthen the UK's position that the agent was made by a highly proficient team and in a well refined process".

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson welcomed the OPCW's report, saying tests in four independent laboratories around the world all returned the same results.

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Yulia, 33, has been discharged from Salisbury District Hospital, Christine Blanshard, medical director of the hospital, told reporters on Tuesday and her father could be discharged in due course.

"I glad to hear that the vast majority of reporters covering the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal from Salisbury hospital have acted responsibly, but the behaviour of the Russian reporters who gained access to the hospital without permission and spoke to staff can not be condoned".

She said she had declined an offer of assistance from the Russian embassy "at the moment".

"Until that time, I want to stress that no one speaks for me, or for my father, but ourselves", she said.

It says British authorities "must urgently provide tangible evidence that Yulia is alright and not deprived of her freedom".

In a statement issued through British police on Wednesday, Yulia Skripal said she did not now want any help from the embassy, adding, "I am safe and feeling better as time goes by".

Viktoria had been quoted widely in the Russian media following a phone conversation she claimed to have had with Yulia from hospital last week. Britain blames Russia for the attack on Yulia and her father, the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal.

"As before, we would like to make sure that the statement really belongs to Yulia".

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