Source of nerve agent not yet identified, United Kingdom defense lab says

Source of nerve agent not yet identified, United Kingdom defense lab says

Gary Aitkenhead, chief executive of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) at Porton Down, told Sky News they were not yet able to prove it was made in Russian Federation.

Aitkenhead said Tuesday that the attack with a highly toxic Novichok nerve agent was "probably only within the capabilities of a state actor".

Putin said, given the lack of precise information about the agent's origin, "the speed at which the anti-Russian campaign has been launched causes bewilderment". A statement from Salisbury District Hospital last week said Yulia Skripal was "improving rapidly" and that Sergei Skripal remains in critical but stable condition.

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.

"It's our job to provide the scientific evidence that identifies what the particular nerve agent is".

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory also responded to Mr Aitkenhead's comments, writing in a series of posts on Twitter: "Our experts have precisely identified the nerve agent as a Novichok".

On March 4, former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal, who had been earlier sentenced in Russia for spying for the UK, and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious on a bench near the Maltings shopping center in Salisbury, UK.

As the fallout from the incident continues, both Skripal and his daughter remain hospitalized in Salisbury.

He expressed optimism it would not damage the positive relationship between the two countries where close ties exist in areas like business and agriculture.

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Britain has accused Russian Federation of involvement in the March 4 nerve agent attack on former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, the accusations Russian Federation has vehemently denied.

A United Kingdom government spokesman said additional evidence that pointed to Russian Federation including "our knowledge" that Russian Federation was investigating ways to use nerve agents for possible assassinations and the stockpiling of small quantities of the Novichok agent. We expelled diplomats. You further expel, what is the next step?

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons told CNN an emergency meeting will be held on Wednesday at Russia's request.

"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", Aitkenhead said.

Russian Federation requested the meeting and has demanded an "unbiased investigation" by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

Russian officials also have suggested the poison could have come from Britain, pointing out that Porton Down conducts secret chemical and biological weapons research.

Later, London claimed that the toxin of Novichok-class had been allegedly developed in Russian Federation. S., Canada, Albania, Norway and Ukraine, have announced their decisions to collectively expel over 150 Russian diplomats as a sign of solidarity with London on the Skripal case.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko called the poisonings a "provocation arranged by Britain" to justify high military spending because "they need a major enemy".

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