Russian Federation nerve agent tested BEFORE Skripal attack, damning dossier claims

Russia attack EU European Union nerve agent Putin

Russia has run programs investigating methods of delivering nerve agents, "including by application to door handles", and is "highly likely" responsible for the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, according to intelligence made public by the United Kingdom on Friday.

On March 4, Sergei Skripal, who had been convicted in Russian Federation of spying for Great Britain, and his daughter Yulia suffered the effects of an alleged nerve agent in the British city of Salisbury.

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He said: "A combination of credible open-source reporting and intelligence shows that in the 1980s the Soviet Union developed a new class of "fourth generation" nerve agents, known as Novichoks".

Sedwill also said that Russian Federation has tested means of delivering chemical agents "including by application to door handles", pointing out that the highest concentration of the chemical found after the attack was on Skripal's front door handle.

Sedwill said "only Russian Federation has the technical means, operational means and the motive" to carry out such an attack.

In a news conference Friday afternoon, the Russian ambassador to Britain, Aleksandr V. Yakovenko, dismissed the letter and "all these allegations" surrounding the nerve agent attack as having "nothing to do with reality".

In a letter to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), the National Security Adviser Sir Mark Sedwill has revealed that Skripals were the subject of "interest" from the Kremlin's security services since 2013 and there was evidence that Russian Federation trained "special units" to use nerve agents. Claiming that the substance used in the incident had been a nerve agent allegedly developed in Russia, London rushed to accuse Moscow of being involved in the case without presenting any evidence.

It insists that the nerve agent used on the Skripals could easily have been manufactured in any other country with an advanced chemical research programme.

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"The codeword for the offensive chemical weapons programme (of which Novichoks were one part) was FOLIANT", he said.

The worldwide chemical weapons watchdog has said an analysis of samples gathered from Sergei Skripal, Yulia Skripal, and detective sergeant Nick Bailey - who was affected during the emergency response - confirmed the U.K.'s assessment of the incident.

However, the OPCW did not explicitly name Novichok in its published summary, nor did it say where the chemical may have come from.

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Friday that a new report on the poisoning of a former spy does nothing to support Britain's contention that Russian Federation was behind the attack.

She said: "It continues - it's a very large investigation".

"It is highly likely that Novichoks were developed to prevent detection by the West and to circumvent worldwide weapons controls".

"Normally, you don't worry about some impurities because they don't get in the way of the major task that you're using the chemical for, which is to poison someone". A police officer, detective sergeant Nick Bailey, was inadvertently poisoned after tending to the pair, but was released from hospital on 22 March.

National Security Security Adviser Sir Mark Seawall said Vladimir Putin's spies have trained to use nerve agents such as Novichok since the 2000s.

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