UK Nat. Security Adviser Reportedly Claims Russia Spied on Skripals for Years

14 April, 2018, 20:17 | Author: Diane Mills
  • Salisbury spy poisoned row

In a letter to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation secretary general Jens Stoltenberg on Friday, Sedwill said: "We therefore continue to judge that only Russia has the technical means, operational experience and motive for the attack on the Skripals and that it is highly likely that the Russian state was responsible".

Regarding the Skripals themselves, Sedwill claims that email accounts belonging to Yulia Skripal were targeted by Russian intelligence agents in 2013, "indicating Russian intelligence service interest in the Skripals".

The national security adviser said Moscow had created the nerve agent Novichok at the Russian research facility in Shikhany as part of an offensive chemical weapons programme with the codename Foliant.

The Russian Embassy has sensationally claimed poisoned former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia are being held prisoner by the UK.

"This programme subsequently included investigation of ways of delivering nerve agents, including by application to door handles".

"If someone was spying, why were the British services not complaining about that?" The claims come after the worldwide Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons backed Britain's assertion the Skripals were poisoned by Novichok - a military grade nerve agent developed by the Russians in the 1980s.

Sir Mark said: "There is no plausible alternative explanation", adding that Russian Federation had continued to produce and stockpile small quantities of Novichok within the last decade.

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

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Sir Mark also identified the key institute for developing Novichok in the former Soviet Union as a branch of the State Institute for Organic Chemistry and Technology at Shikany near Volgograd.

Last week, the chief executive of the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory in Porton Down, Britain's premier chemical weapons laboratory, said its scientists could not identify "the precise source" of the chemical, though its purity indicated that it was nearly certainly created by a "state actor".

Sedwill also said Russia had a clear motive for attacking Skripal, a former Russian military intelligence officer who had been imprisoned in Russia for spying for Britain, only to be set free in a spy swap.

Alexander Yakovenko told reporters.

He said that Russian Federation had continued to produce and stockpile small quantities of Novichoks within the last decade.

Ms Skripal, 33, was released from the hospital this week but her father remains there.

"We are not allowed to see our citizens, talk to doctors, have no idea about the treatment the Russian nationals receive", he said.

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