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The Latest: UK Scientists Haven't IDed Source of Nerve Agent

The Latest: UK Scientists Haven't IDed Source of Nerve Agent

Tuesday, 03 April 2018 11:38 AM

MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain (all times local):

6:30 p.m.

The chief executive of Britain's Porton Down defense laboratory says its scientists have identified the nerve agent used to poison Sergei and Yulia Skripal, but have not verified its "precise source."

Gary Aitkenhead says "it's our job to provide the scientific evidence that identifies what the particular nerve agent is ... but it's not our job to say where that was actually manufactured."

Britain says the Skripals were poisoned with a Soviet-developed nerve agent, and that the Russian state must be behind the attack.

Russia denies responsibility and has suggested the poison may have come from Britain.

Aitkenhead said Tuesday that the attack with a highly toxic Novichok nerve agent was "probably only within the capabilities of a state actor."

He says there is "no way" the nerve agent could have come from the high-security Porton Down facility.

5:50 p.m.

The global chemical weapons control body will hold an emergency meeting to discuss the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal, at Russia's request.

Yury Filatov, Russia's ambassador to Ireland, says Moscow asked the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons "to call an extraordinary session" at its headquarters in The Hague." The organization says the meeting will be held at 0800GMT Wednesday.

Filatov says Russia wants Britain to "provide every possible element of evidence" it holds about the March 4 attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the English city of Salisbury.

Britain blames Russia for the pair's poisoning with a Soviet-developed nerve agent. Russia denies involvement.

Filatov said Tuesday that if the U.K. does not show evidence, "there are ample grounds to assume that we are dealing with a grand scale provocation organized in London aimed to discredit Russia."

1:30 p.m.

A top Russian diplomat says the nerve agent poisoning of a former Russian spy may have been arranged by Britain to justify military spending.

The March 4 poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the English city of Salisbury sent shockwaves across Europe. British authorities suspect Skripal was poisoned by a Soviet-made nerve agent. Moscow vehemently denies its responsibility. European Union nations, the United States and other Western countries joined Britain in expelling more than 150 Russian diplomats from their countries.

Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko in comments relayed by Russian news agencies on Tuesday called Skripal's poisoning a "provocation arranged by Britain" in order to justify high military spending because "they need a major enemy."

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The Latest on the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain (all times local):6:30 p.m.The chief executive of Britain's Porton Down defense laboratory says its scientists have identified the nerve agent used to poison Sergei and Yulia Skripal, but have not verified its...
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2018-38-03
Tuesday, 03 April 2018 11:38 AM
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