UK's national adviser says Russian Federation spied on Skripals
UK's national adviser says Russian Federation spied on Skripals
The Latest Johnson says only Russia could be behind attack
14 April, 2018, 22:19
Mr Sedwill - who published the letter on Twitter on Friday - also said that Russian Federation has tested means of delivering chemical agents "including by application to door handles", pointing out that the highest concentration of the chemical found after the attack was on Skripal's front door handle.
The Government's National Security Adviser Sir Mark Sedwill said cyber specialists from the GRU - Russian military intelligence - had targeted Yulia Skripal's email accounts as far back as 2013.
The lethal poison that struck down a former Russian spy and his daughter in England last month was a highly pure type of Novichok nerve agent, the global chemical weapons watchdog has concluded, backing Britain's findings.
Sedwill goes on to claim that Russian Federation was likely the only former Soviet republic to pursue "an offensive chemical weapons programme after independence".
"It is highly likely that Novichoks were developed to prevent detection by the West and to circumvent worldwide weapons controls".
He said that after the Soviet Union collapsed, Russian Federation signed the Chemical Weapons Convention without reporting its ongoing work on Novichoks.
Sergei Skripal remains in hospital in serious condition, while Yulia Skripal has been released.
Theresa May, the British prime minister, has said the Skripals were attacked with one of the Novichok group of poisons, which had been developed by the Soviet Union in the 1970s and 80s.
In his letter, Sir Mark argued that only Russian Federation had the "technical means, operational experience and the motive" to carry out such an attack.
"This program subsequently included investigation of ways of delivering nerve agents, including by application to door handles", it says. A United Kingdom public inquiry concluded there was a "strong probability" the poisoning was directed by the FSB, Russia's top security agency.
Sir Mark said Russian Federation had a "proven record of conducting state-sponsored assassination" and that it was "highly likely" some defectors may be regarded as "legitimate targets".
Lavrov said the report does nothing to back the British allegations that Moscow was behind the attack.
Sir Mark said: "There is no plausible alternative explanation", adding that Russian Federation had continued to produce and stockpile small quantities of Novichok within the last decade.
"I want to underline: the OPCW only has confirmed the composition of the chemical agent", he said.
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