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Britain pushes ahead with developing secret chemical warfare agents laboratory

A Russian Defense Ministry official comments on the work of Britain’s top secret laboratory Porton Down

MOSCOW, March 21. /TASS/. Britain’s top secret laboratory Porton Down, which stages experiments and research into chemical warfare agents, is actively developing, the chief of Russia’s radiation, chemical and biological protection force, Major-General Igor Kirillov, told a news briefing for foreign ambassadors devoted to the Skripal affair.

He said that "up to this moment the Porton Down laboratory was a top secret facility and the official list of its activities contained not only disposal of expired chemical weapons, but also experiments being staged on the pretext of devising counter-measures against the effects of chemical and biological weapons, published on the organization’s official website."

"Also, in the wake of the latest reports the British government has allocated about 50 million pounds for this laboratory the question arises if the Porton Down scientists are going to dispose of the Novichok agent that has been in the news round the clock and whose samples are at their disposal, if what Boris Johnson said in an interview yesterday is to be believed," he said.

"Britain pushes ahead with developing the Porton Down laboratory and on the pretext of taking effective counter-measures against chemical and biological weapons it continues to stage experiments and exposing the people to terrible risks," Kirillov said. He demonstrated to those attending the briefing photographs showing the changes the laboratory’s infrastructure had undergone over the past five years.

Kirillov said that according to recent reports in the mass media "strong pressures were exerted on the staff of the Porton Down laboratory lately with the aim to make the present conclusions the chemical agent used in Salisbury was of Syrian origin.

He recalled Britain’s vast experience gained the process of experiments with chemical warfare against. It is a well-known and commonly recognized fact, he said, that the British government in 1996 staged experiments on humans with the aim to study the effects of the sarin.