Independent experts investigate poison in skripal case

Independent experts investigate poison in skripal case

Serious accusations in the case of ex-spy skripal: according to the uk, it has evidence of the production and storage of the banned nerve agent nowichok in russia over the past ten years.

With such a substance, according to london, ex-double agent sergej skripal and his daughter yulia were poisoned two weeks ago. Moscow’s reaction to the case speaks for itself, as foreign minister boris johnson told the BBC. Russia rejects all accusations – and names great britain and other countries as possible producers of the toxin.

Independent experts now to examine samples of the poison used in the attack. Representatives of the organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons (OPCW) in the hague are expected to arrive in the UK this monday, according to a statement from the ministry of foreign affairs in london. OPCW to examine samples in international laboratories. This will take at least two weeks. Novichok was previously known only as a nerve agent from the former soviet union.

Johnson announced monday he would brief EU foreign ministers on the case and meet with NATO secretary general jens stoltenberg.

German defense minister ursula von der leyen (CDU) spoke in the "bild am sonntag" newspaper of a breach of the rules by russia and called on the EU and the USA to react in a united manner. According to a representative emnid poll, however, most germans are skeptical of such measures against russia. Only 26 percent of those polled were in favor, 69 percent opposed.

Sergei skripal (66) and his daughter yulia (33) are in a critical condition. They were on 4. Marz found unconscious on a park bench in salisbury, southern england. London accused russian president vladimir putin as direct wirepuller. The dispute developed into a serious diplomatic crisis between the two countries, including sanctions.

On saturday, moscow ordered the expulsion of 23 british diplomats in russia. Russia also banned the operation of the british consulate general in st. Petersburg and the cultural institute british council in the country. London announced in response that it would discuss further steps in the national security council in the next few days.

The kremlin reacted to punitive measures announced earlier in london by british prime minister theresa may. These include the expulsion of 23 russian diplomats and the cutting of bilateral relations "at a high level".

In view of the presidential election on sunday, the russian sanctions can also be seen as a strong signal to the electorate that russia will not allow itself to be cornered by the west. A clear victory for incumbent vladimir putin is expected.

What further sanctions are to be feared? British newspapers consider it possible that the assets of russian oligarchs close to the kremlin will be frozen in london. Great britain fears cyberattacks from russia, according to reports.

London provoked moscow with its accusations, the russian auben ministry wrote on saturday. The 23 british diplomats have now had one week to leave the country – the same deadline london gave to the russian diplomats concerned. Britain will never tolerate threats to british citizens by russia, prime minister may says.

Moscow auben political expert alexander kramarenko called the countermeasures "pretty tough". He assumes that the tensions were allowed to continue at least for the term of the current british government, he said.

Russian diplomat alexander schulgin claimed that the west could also have had access to the poison. It is "highly probable" that the substance used in salisbury came from a western laboratory, said the russian representative to the organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons (OPCW). He specifically named great britain and the USA. Western intelligence agencies had recruited russian chemists with knowledge of work from the soviet union in the 1990s and actively worked with this information.

The spokeswoman of the russian aube ministry, maria zakharova, listed the czech republic, slovakia and sweden as possible countries of origin of the nerve agent, in addition to great britain and the united states, on the news channel rossiya 24. The governments in prague and bratislava immediately and vehemently rejected it.

According to scotland yard, the investigation into the skripal case could take months to complete. Around 400 witnesses have already testified, and hundreds more are expected to do so in the coming days. About 250 specialists of the anti-terror police are busy with the case.

Skripal allegedly informed british foreign intelligence agency MI6 about russian agents in europe. In 2004, the former colonel of the russian military intelligence GRU was exposed and arrested. He was sentenced to 13 years in prison. He came to the uk in 2010 as part of a prisoner exchange program.

The murder of kremlin critic and businessman nikolai glushkov is also causing unrest in the UK. British police contacted a number of exiled russians and urged them to be careful. With this, the security authorities had changed their previous assessment of a low risk for exiled russians in the country, the BBC reported. There is still no connection between the death of glushkov and the attack on skripal.

During the investigation, forensic experts found traces of violence on glushkov’s neck, scotland yard reported. The 68-year-old was discovered dead last monday in his home in london. Glushkov had worked for the russian groups avtovaz and aeroflot. In 2004, he was sentenced in his home country to three years and three months in prison on charges of fraud and money laundering. In 2010 he was granted asylum in great britain.

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