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Moscow calls on UK to disclose information about British Porton Down lab's work

The investigators should closely monitor the activity of the British chemical laboratory, a diplomat says

MOSCOW, August 9. /TASS/. Moscow intends to strive for London’s disclosure of information about chemical agents produced at the Porton Down laboratory, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on Thursday.

"We insist that the British authorities should disclose data on the production of combat poisoning agents at the Porton Down laboratory, including those that were named ‘Novichok’ in the West," the diplomat said. "Is it a coincidence that the incidents with the Skripals [in Salisbury] and the British couple in Amesbury happened in direct proximity to the chemical laboratory in Porton Down? We assume that the investigators have to answer this and many other questions."

The investigators should closely monitor the activity of the British chemical laboratory, she said. "Regarding the incidents, we consider any reference to some national interests made by the British side inappropriate," Zakharova stressed. "If you take a decision in which you involve the whole world, then you should bear responsibility before the global community."

On June 30, Charles Rowley, aged 45, and his partner Dawn Sturgess, aged 44, were hospitalized in the city of Amesbury in critical condition. On July 8, Scotland Yard reported the death of Sturgess. Investigated launched a criminal case. Rowley later recovered and was questioned by the police.

The London police counter-terrorism department earlier stated that Sturgess and Rowley came into contact with Novichok, the same nerve agent that allegedly poisoned former Colonel of the Main Intelligence Directorate Sergei Skripal, who was convicted in Russia for spying for the UK, and his daughter Yulia. London then blamed Moscow for the incident. Moscow repeatedly refuted its involvement in the Salisbury incident.