United Kingdom intel: Russian Federation tested nerve agent on door handles before Skripal attack

United Kingdom intel: Russian Federation tested nerve agent on door handles before Skripal attack

United Kingdom intel: Russian Federation tested nerve agent on door handles before Skripal attack

The poisoning of ex-GRU Colonel Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, UK on March 4 was quickly blamed on Russian Federation by UK Prime Minister Theresa May, leading to a sharp deterioration in diplomatic ties.

Russia had spied on ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter for at least five years before the poison attack that put them both in critical condition, the U.K.'s national security advisor said Friday.

"I would like to share with you and Allies further information regarding our assessment that it is highly likely that the Russian state was responsible for the Salisbury attack", Sedwill wrote in the letter.

"This program subsequently included investigation of ways of delivering nerve agents, including by application to door handles", it says.

Britain says that Yulia Skripal's email was under attacked from the GRU in 2013.

The Russian Embassy is publishing its own report on the Salisbury nerve gas attack, London ambassador Alexander Yakovenko has announced, adding that the United Kingdom has still not produced any evidence to support its claims about the incident.

In an analysis of samples taken from the home of the Skripals, the highest concentrations of toxic chemical novichok, thought to be responsible for their poisoning, was found on door handles.

He wrote: 'It is highly likely that Novichoks were developed to prevent detection by the West and to circumvent worldwide chemical weapons controls.

Scientists from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPWC) confirmed Thursday that Novichok was used in Salisbury, England in the attack on Skripal.

Skripal, 66, a former colonel in Russia's military intelligence who betrayed dozens of agents to Britain's MI6 foreign spy service, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were found unconscious on a bench in the cathedral city of Salisbury on March 4.

Besides, the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko in 2006 was mentioned in the letter as well.

It follows the confirmation on Thursday by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons that the toxin used in the Salisbury incident was Novichok - a military grade nerve agent developed by Russian Federation in the 1980s.

"There is no plausible alternative explanation".

Sergei Skripal, a former Russian military intelligence officer, was jailed in 2004 for selling state secrets to Britain.

Yakovenko said he had not seen the letter.

He also said Russia could not be sure about the authenticity of a statement issued by Yulia Skripal on Wednesday in which she declined the offer of help from the Russian embassy.

"We can not be sure that Yulia's refusal to see us is genuine".

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