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UK initiates OPCW meeting over Skripal poisoning case

April 13, 2018, 18:10 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The UK has initiated a meeting of the OPCW after receiving a report from the organization’s experts on the agent used in the Skripals’ case

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OPCW headquarters in The Hague

OPCW headquarters in The Hague

© EPA-EFE/Bart Maat

MOSCOW, April 13. /TASS/. The UK has initiated a meeting of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) after receiving a report from the organization’s experts on the agent used in the Skripals’ case. The Embassy of the United Kingdom in Russia wrote about it on Twitter following Ambassador Laurie Bristow’s briefing for foreign envoys held in Moscow.

"Russia as UNSC P5 member has a special responsibility to uphold global rules-based order which keeps us all safe. But it has flouted international law in Ukraine, on Syrian chemical weapons, and through its malign cyber activity," the statement says.

"Need to hold Russia to account for breach of the CWC. The UK has called OPCW and UNSC meetings to do so," the embassy noted.

The OPCW report does not determine those responsible for the Salisbury incident, but London believes that it could be Russia. "OPCW remit was to identify agent. Attribution was not for OPCW. UK released additional information today supporting UK conclusions that highly likely Russia was responsible," the embassy said.

The experts concluded that the agent could be produced only by a state: "OPCW concluded chemical was high purity. Indicates expert production, in a controlled scientific environment. Consistent with UK analysis that it could only be produced by state actor."

On March 4, former Russian intelligence officer and convicted British spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were allegedly poisoned with a nerve agent, according to British investigators. Later, London stated that this agent was designed in Russia and blamed Moscow for being behind the incident based on this assumption. The Russian side refuted all accusations, saying that neither the Soviet Union, nor Russia had any programs for developing this agent.

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