Russia: Nerve Agent In Salisbury Attack Came From British Research Laboratory
Russia's ambassador to the European Union has claimed a nerve agent that poisoned a former Russian spy and his daughter in England could have come from a British lab.

On Sunday, Vladimir Chizhov told the BBC’s Andrew Marr programme that Russia had nothing to do with the poisoning in Salisbury of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, noting that Moscow did “not stockpile the agent.”

Chizhov said the Porton Down chemical weapons research centre was only eight miles from Salisbury, where the attack happened and suggested that British agents might have used stockpiles from the chemical weapons facility at the lab.

“When you have a nerve agent or whatever, you check it against certain samples that you retain in your laboratories.” Chizhov added: “And Porton Down, as we now all know, is the largest military facility in the United Kingdom that has been dealing with chemical weapons research. And it’s actually only eight miles from Salisbury.”

Read More: Russian MP Compares Theresa May To Hitler And Says UK Government Is Behind Sergei Skripal Attack

In his remarks on Sunday morning, British foreign secretary Boris Johnson said the government has evidence that Russia has been creating and stockpiling the deadly nerve agent novichok within the last decade.

“We actually have evidence within the last 10 years that Russia has not only been investigating the delivery of nerve agents for the purpose of assassination, but has also been creating and stockpiling novichok.” Johnson said.

He also described the Porton Down claim as “satirical” and dismissed the ambassador’s request for Russian involvement in the investigation as inappropriate.

Johnson went on: “It was not the response of a country that really believes it’s innocent, that really wants to engage in getting to the bottom of this matter.”

Earlier on Saturday, the Russia foreign ministry said in a statement that Russia has expelled 23 British diplomats in response to the UK’s measures against Moscow over the poisoning of a former spy. It has also ordered the closure of the UK’s consulate in St Petersburg and the British Council in Moscow.

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