PRAGUE, May 13. /TASS/. Former Russian foreign intelligence officer Sergei Skripal secretly visited Prague in 2012 and met with Czech intelligence officers, the Respekt weekly on-line newspaper said on Sunday.
"Skripal visited Prague at least once, in 2012," the newspaper said. "Despite the fact that it was a brief visit, this trip was useful for the local intelligence services. Representatives of Czech security services later met with the former Russian spy at least once in the United Kingdom."
After settling in Great Britain, Skripal "collaborated with Britain’s MI-6 to expose Russia’s agent network [in Western states]," Respekt said, adding that he had met with intelligence officers from the UK’s partner nations, including the Czech republic since 1990s.
However, according to Respekt, the recent poisoning incident in Britain’s Salisbury was not linked with Skripal’s visit to Prague.
On March 4, former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal, 66, who had been earlier sentenced in Russia for spying for the UK, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were found unconscious on a bench near the Maltings shopping center in Salisbury, UK. Police said they had been exposed to a nerve agent.
Later, London claimed that the toxin of Novichok-class had been allegedly developed in Russia. With that, the UK rushed to accuse Russia of being involved, while failing to produce any evidence. Moscow refuted the accusations that it had participated in the incident and points out that neither the Soviet Union nor Russia have ever done research into that toxic chemical.
Meanwhile, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) confirmed it had been a Novichok-type agent but failed to identify its origin.