Russian Federation spied on Skripal and daughter for at least 5 years: UK

Gladys Abbott
April 15, 2018

Russia is now insinuating that Yulia Skripal - daughter of former Russian spy Sergei who has survived a nerve agent attack - has been abducted by the United Kingdom in order to blame the Kremlin for her poisoning, according to reports.

He made the assertion in a letter to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg today explaining Britain's conclusion the Russian government was to blame for the poisoning.

Officials at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation were not immediately available to comment.

Poisoning victim Yulia Skripal released from hospital.

On Thursday, OPCW confirmed Britain's finding that Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with a nerve agent in the English city of Salisbury on March 4.

He then describes how Russian Federation later launched a program to test methods of delivering chemical warfare agents and to train personnel in their use. It says that Russian Federation continued to produce the agents after the breakup of the Soviet Union, but did not declare the work to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

It is noted that the word "Novichok" was introduced by the West in the mid-1990s in order to identify a number of chemicals developed there based on information provided by Russian immigrant researchers.

"It is highly likely that the Russian intelligence services view at least some of its defectors as legitimate targets for assassination", he said.

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He pointed to the Owen Report from the UK's public inquiry into the death of Aleksandr Litvinenko which concluded in 2016 that he was "deliberately poisoned with Polonium 210, that there was a "strong probability" that the FSB (Russia's security agency) directed the operation, and that President Putin "probably approved it".

Britain says that Yulia Skripal's email was under attacked from the GRU in 2013.

The letter was made public a day after investigators at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons confirmed British findings that the Skripals were poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent. "Within the last decade, Russian Federation has produced and stockpiled small quantities of Novichoks under the same program".

He said that it included investigating ways of delivering nerve agents by applying them to door handles. She said Moscow will continue to press Britain to share evidence in the case. The watchdog did not say who was responsible for the poisoning.

He also said Russia could not be sure about the authenticity of a statement issued by Yulia Skripal on Wednesday in which she declined the offer of help from the Russian embassy.

"The British Government still hasn't produced any evidence in support of its position that would confirm their official version", he told a news conference at the Russian embassy in London.

"There can be no doubt what was used and there remains no alternative explanation about who was responsible - only Russian Federation has the means, motive and record".

"We have every reason to believe this could be a question of the deliberate, forcible detention of a Russian citizen or possibly their coercion into a staged announcement", foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

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