Chemical weapons watchdog to meet on poisoned ex-spy case

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The head of the British military facility, dealing with the nerve agent used for poisoning ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, on Tuesday said it has "not identified the precise source" of the substance.

Scientists at the U.K's Porton Down lab have identified the poison as a Soviet-developed type of nerve agent known as Novichok, and the British government says the only plausible explanation is that it came from Russian Federation.

He further claimed to provide scientific information to the government to help reach to some conclusion.

"However, he confirmed the substance required "extremely sophisticated methods to create, something only in the capabilities of a state actor". "We spoke about it in brief, Mr. President asked some questions about it", Putin said.

He also pointed out that "it is our job to provide the scientific evidence of what this particular nerve agent is, we identified that it is from this particular family and that it is a military-grade, but it is not our job to say where it was manufactured".

Moscow, which denies any involvement, has requested a meeting at the Hague.

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Aitkenhead said the British government had "other inputs" it could use to determine the origin of the nerve agent, some of them intelligence-based.

Lavrov said Monday that Russian Federation had requested the OPCW meeting to discuss the case and asked it to provide details of its cooperation with Britain in the poisoning probe.

British officials said they believe an attack of this type could only be carried out by someone with key training involving Novichok, a chemical developed by Russian Federation during the Cold War.

The comments come after Mr Putin's foreign minister accused Theresa May of "resorting to open lies".

Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were attacked with the nerve agent on 4 March.

Mr Lavrov claimed that British intelligence agencies could have been involved as part of efforts to distract public attention from the British government's hard talks to exit the European Union.

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His comments come a day before an extraordinary meeting - called by Russian Federation - with the world's chemical weapons watchdog, the executive council of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

Chizhov says "Russia clearly had no motive" to attack Skripal, who was convicted of spying for Britain but freed in a 2010 spy swap.

British officials have previously rejected similar Russian allegations. "If there was any hint that anything that we have would be leaving our four walls, then we wouldn't be allowed to operate".

The March 4 poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the English city of Salisbury sent shockwaves across Europe.

Britain has blamed Russia for the poisoning, and has been backed up by dozens of Western countries which have ordered Russian diplomats to leave.

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