Envoy to OSCE: Russia Never Created Nerve Agent Dubbed Novichok

Envoy to OSCE: Russia Never Created Nerve Agent Dubbed Novichok

British Prime Minister Theresa May this week ordered 23 Russian diplomats expelled as part of measures to punish Russia over the March 4 poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the city of Salisbury.

Germany, France and the United States joined Britain in blaming Moscow for the attack, with British Prime Minister Theresa May stating it was "highly likely" that Russian Federation was responsible.

Russia's Permanent Representative to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Alexander Lukashevich said on Thursday that no research and development work on Novichok class of nerve agents had taken place in the Russian Federation.

The US treasury department said the use of a military-grade nerve agent in the Salisbury incident "further demonstrates the reckless and irresponsible conduct of its (Russia's) government".

A report in the Telegraph says it was put in the suitcase of Skripal's daughter before she left Russian Federation for Britain to see her father.

May announced the expulsion of the diplomats on Wednesday after she received no response from Russian Federation. "Even if they survive they will not recover", the 83-year-old told The Telegraph newspaper.

The death of Nikolai Glushkov comes a week after former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were attacked with nerve gas.

Mr Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the final decision on retaliatory measures "will, of course, be made by the Russian president", adding: "There is no doubt that he will choose the variant that best of all corresponds to the interests of the Russian Federation".

Simonyan told The Associated Press in Moscow that "if we are censored in the United Kingdom, that's going to be it for the British media" in Russian Federation.

Britain blames Russian Federation for the nerve-agent attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter, who were found unconscious in the British city of Salisbury on March 4 and remain in critical condition.

Vassily Nebenzia told the Security Council Russia has "nothing to do with it", saying Russia is ready to participate in a joint investigation.

"We have said on different levels and occasions that Russian Federation has nothing to do with this story", Peskov said.

Russian Federation will hold a presidential election of its own on Sunday, which Putin is widely expected to win.

In the Salisbury case, Russian Federation has focused its efforts on a campaign of denial and counterclaim in which officials at times have contradicted each other. Mirzayanov said he revealed the existence of Novichok because he thought it was necessary to deprive Russian Federation of its "deadly secret".

Zakharova said the West is trying to "distract attention from what they did in Syria and Iraq" and that Britain "needs to somehow show the world that Russian Federation is not in fact a peacekeeper but is playing its own game".

Sergei Skripal was sentenced to 13 years in prison in 2006 for spying for Britain, according to Russian state media accounts of the closed hearing.

British Prime Minister Theresa May's office said that Australian leader Malcolm Turnbull joined her in condemnation of the attack.

"It is hard to say what may be happening in neighboring countries", he was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.

The leader of Britain's main opposition party says the government shouldn't rush to blame Moscow for the nerve agent poisoning of a former spy.



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