Britain accuses Russian Federation of secretly stockpiling nerve agent

Russia summons British ambassador as it readies to expel diplomats

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Russia's ambassador to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov told the same programme that his country has destroyed its reserves of such substances and a British research laboratory could be the source of the nerve agent used in the attack. Last year, Russian Federation destroyed all its stockpiles [of chemical weapons].

Chezhov claimed that some number of scientists responsible for creating some nerve agents "have been whisked out of Russian Federation and are now residing in the U.K".

But a Russian scientist disclosed details of a secret program to manufacture the military-grade nerve agents in the 1990s, and later published the formula.

Asked whether he was saying Porton Down was responsible, he replied: "I don't know". And it's actually only eight miles from Salisbury.

He also pledged to use existing sanctions under the Criminal Finances Act passed past year to crack down on unexplained wealth that may have been obtained by corruption, or where there was evidence of a link with the Kremlin and Vladimir Putin.

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Vladimir Chizhov says Russian Federation has no chemical weapons stockpiles and was not behind the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. The incident also saw a British police officer injured seriously. UK Prime Minister Theresa May on March 14 accused Russian Federation of "an unlawful use of force" against her country.

Also on Sunday, the Foreign Secretary branded Russia's counter-measures "futile", after the Kremlin expelled 23 British diplomats from the country, as the row over the Salisbury attack intensified. Moscow took retaliatory measures, giving British ambassadors a week to pack. "It is Russian Federation that is in flagrant breach of global law and the Chemical Weapons Convention", the Foreign Office said in a statement.

The ambassador's remarks came after Russian Foreign Ministry commented that the United Kingdom could be the source for the Novichok nerve agent used in Salisbury alongside with some other countries such as Czech Republic, Slovakia, Sweden and possibly the U.S.

"We will share the samples with them", he said.

But Boris Johnson dismissed the "satirical" suggestion that British agents could have been to blame for the attempted murder of double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

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Mr Johnson said the reaction across the Government, Parliament and the wider country had been "hugely encouraging" but he hit out at Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who came under fire on Wednesday after failing to offer explicit support for the Prime Minister's approach in the House of Commons.

The British Foreign Office said in a March 18 statement that investigators from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons would arrive in Britain the following day to begin their probe into the substance used in the poisoning. U.K. Ambassador Laurie Bristow was summoned to the ministry and told that the actions are "in response to the provocative actions of the British side and the unsubstantiated accusations" against Russian Federation, the ministry said.

Britain is to target wealth linked to the Kremlin in response to the poisoning of a former spy, foreign minister Boris Johnson said today ahead of a visit by global chemical weapons experts.

"And part of this programme has involved producing and stockpiling quantities of novichok". There is only one country today that hasn't done so, that is still retaining its chemical weapons stockpile and that is the United States of America.

The spy dispute has sent U.K. -Russia relations to Cold War-levels of tension. Before the exchange, he was serving 13 years in prison for leaking information to British intelligence. Russian Federation has denied any involvement.

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