Tags: nerve agent | ex-spy | door handle | kremlin

NYT: Nerve Agent Smeared on Ex-Spy's Door Handle Points to Kremlin

NYT: Nerve Agent Smeared on Ex-Spy's Door Handle Points to Kremlin

Former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal. (Yuri Senatorov/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 02 April 2018 07:27 AM

A nerve agent smeared on a Russian ex-spy's door handle in England that poisoned him and his daughter points to the Kremlin, The New York Times reported on Sunday according to officials briefed on an the inquiry.

Sergei V. Skripal, 66, a former double agent, remained in critical condition after being exposed to the nerve agent more than four weeks ago, the Salisbury District Hospital told the BBC News. His daughter, Yulia Skripal, 33, has improved to the point where she is conscious and talking, the British news agency stated.

Officials familiar with the inquiry into the poisoning theorized that an assassin working on behalf of Russia traveled to Skripal's home in Salisbury on March 4 and spread the agent on the door handle, the Times reported.

The officials said that since the nerve agent that poisoned the Skripals was so potent, they believe it could have only been carried out by trained professionals with a knowledge of handling chemical warfare materials, the Times said.

Because of the skill it would have taken to use such a poison , British and American officials were wondering if Russian President Vladimir V. Putin was aware of, or even ordered the attack, the Times said.

"It's a huge implication, if it was the door handle, because it means someone had to be in the U.K. with the material," Richard Guthrie, an independent chemical weapons expert and editor of CBW Events, told the Times.

"Anything you create that would stick to the door handle, you've got to make it so that it would be removed from the door handle when it was handled, and not dropped off too quickly. That's complicated chemistry," Guthrie said.

On March 13, United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May identified the poison as Novichok, which was developed in the final years of the Soviet Union, The Guardian reported. She called it a "military-grade nerve agent" and the use of it an "indiscriminate and reckless act." 

The incident led to the United States and its European allies to expel more than 150 Russian diplomats last month, The Guardian reported. In retaliation, Russia ordered the expulsion of diplomats from at least 23 countries last week for those countries standing in solidarity with the United Kingdom over the poisoning of ex-Russian spy, CNN reported.

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A nerve agent smeared on a Russian ex-spy's door handle in England that poisoned him and his daughter points to the Kremlin, The New York Times reported on Sunday according to officials briefed on an the inquiry.
nerve agent, ex-spy, door handle, kremlin
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2018-27-02
Monday, 02 April 2018 07:27 AM
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