MOSCOW, April 4. /TASS/. British experts’ conclusion on the substance used to poison former Russian military intelligence (GRU) Colonel Sergei Skripal comes as no surprise as the formula of the substance is widely known, Russian Permanent Representative to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov told reporters on Wednesday.
"Personally, I am not surprised by this conclusion because the substance they call Novichok - which, as I understand, refers to a whole category of substances - is widely known. Its formula is even available on the Internet," the Russian ambassador said.
"It means that it could have been manufactured anywhere, provided its manufacturers had a fairly equipped laboratory and the skills of chemistry students," Chizhov noted. "So it is only natural that its origin cannot be identified," he added.
On Tuesday, Chief Executive of the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) at Porton Down Gary Aitkenhead told Sky News that British experts had been unable to identify the origin of the nerve agent used to attack Skripal and his daughter in the city of Salisbury.
On March 4, Sergei Skripal, who had been convicted in Russia of spying for Great Britain and later swapped for Russian intelligence officers, and his daughter Yulia suffered the effects of an alleged nerve agent in Salisbury. The Porton Down facility is located seven kilometers away from the city.
Claiming that the substance used in the attack had been a Novichok-class nerve agent developed in the Soviet Union, London rushed to accuse Russia of being involved in the incident. Moscow rejected all of the United Kingdom’s accusations, saying that a program aimed at developing such a substance had existed neither in the Soviet Union nor in Russia.