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OPCW fails to identify country of origin of Salisbury attack agent, UK confirms

April 18, 16:55 UTC+3 THE HAGUE

London still believes, however, that "only Russia had the technical means, operational experience and the motive to target the Skripals"

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© EPA-EFE/FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA

THE HAGUE, April 18. /TASS/. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has not identified the country of the origin of the agent used to poison Sergei and Yulia Skripal, Peter Wilson, Permanent Representative of the UK to the OPCW, said as he addressed an emergency session of the OPCW Executive Council on the Salisbury incident.

"Neither DSTL’s (Defense Science and Technology Laboratory) analysis, nor the OPCW’s report identifies the country or laboratory of origin of the agent used in attack," he said in a report TASS has at its disposal. However, he said "we believe that only Russia had the technical means, operational experience and the motive to target the Skripals".

"The OPCW’s findings confirm the United Kingdom’s analysis of the identity of the toxic chemical," he said. "It supports our finding that a military grade nerve agent of a type known as Novichok was used in Salisbury," Peter Wilson said.

An emergency meeting of the Executive Council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on Wednesday has been initiated by Britain, while its primary goal is to discuss the OPCW’s report prepared on the basis of the samples collected by its inspectors in the UK.

At a Russia-initiated emergency session of the OPCW Executive Council on April 4, Western nations dismissed the Russian-Iranian-Chinese proposals on a joint investigation of the Salisbury poisoning. Of 41 countries in the Executive Council, 23 either voted for the Russian proposal or abstained.

On March 4, former Russian military intelligence Colonel Sergei Skripal, 66, who had been convicted in Russia of spying for Great Britain and was later swapped for Russian intelligence officers, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were found unconscious on a bench near the Maltings shopping center in Salisbury, the UK. Police said they had been exposed to a nerve agent.

London immediately accused Russia of being involved, but failed to produce any evidence. British Prime Minister Theresa May rushed to blame Russia for "unlawful use of force" against her country. She identified the alleged substance used in the attack as the so-called Novichok nerve agent, allegedly developed in the former Soviet Union. Russia has flatly rejected these allegations pointing out that neither the Soviet Union nor Russia had any programs to develop that substance.

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