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Russia urges other countries to admit they produced Novichok

May 04, 16:08 UTC+3 MOSCOW

On Friday, Czech President Milos Zeman declared that his country’s military agencies produced and conducted research into the Novichok class agent

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© Andrew Matthews/PA via AP

MOSCOW, May 4. /TASS/. Russia is waiting for a reply from the other countries capable of manufacturing chemical warfare agents after the Czech Republic acknowledged it had produced Novichok, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday after Czech President Milos Zeman declared that his country’s military agencies produced and conducted research into the Novichok class agent. 

"The Czech Republic has taken an honest and courageous step by officially acknowledging this information and making it public," Zakharova emphasized. "Now we are waiting for replies from the other countries that we mentioned, which have the capability to manufacture Novichok."

"Theresa May’s administration claimed that Novichok was produced only in Russia. As you may know, Czech President Milos Zeman in a televised interview quoted a Czech military intelligence report as saying that a military research center in Brno produced and tested small amounts of the Novichok class agent," Zakharova specified. "It was London that dragged the Czech Republic into confrontation with Russia. It was under pressure from the British authorities that the whole affair went as far as the expulsion of Russian diplomats. Now it turns out that there were no grounds for the diplomatic expulsion campaign at all."

"British specialists first acknowledged that they had no proof Novichok was produced in Russia. Now the Czech Republic has confirmed Russia’s concerns were well-founded.

Czech president’s statement and Skripal saga

On May 3, Czech President Milos Zeman said on Prague’s TV Barrandov channel that small amounts of the nerve gas Novichok had been produced and stored in the Czech Republic. He called for not being hypocritical and for telling no lies.

On March 4, in Salisbury, a nerve agent poisoned former GRU Colonel Sergei Skripal, convicted in Russia of spying for Great Britain, and his daughter Yulia, according to British allegations. London claimed that the substance had been developed in Russia and for that reason alone it accused Moscow of complicity without presenting any evidence.

Russia strongly dismissed all speculations on that score, saying that neither the Soviet Union nor Russia had ever had programs for creating such a substance. In a diplomatic feud that followed a number of Western countries in a gesture of solidarity with Britain expelled a total of more than one hundred Russian diplomats. Moscow retaliated in kind.

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