London, Mar 18 Britain's foreign secretary said Sunday that the trail of blame for the poisoning of a former spy "leads inexorably to the Kremlin", after a Russian envoy suggested the nerve agent involved could have come from a United Kingdom lab.
"We actually have evidence, which we've collected over the past 10 years, that Russian Federation not only worked on the development of nerve agents for the goal of committing murder but also created and stored [the substance] "Novichok", British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said to the BBC".
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said Britain has evidence that Russian Federation has been stockpiling nerve agents like the one used against Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.
Speaking to the BBC news on Thursday, Johnson said the rare Soviet-made chemical weapon used against Skripal and his daughter in the town of Salisbury was specifically chosen to send a message to political dissenters challenging Russia's President Vladimir Putin. Russian Federation should in particular provide full and complete disclosure of the Novichok programme to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
Boris Johnson has also expressed the UK's willingness to investigate the Skripal case in collaboration with Russian Federation.
But Boris Johnson dismissed the "satirical" suggestion that British agents could have been to blame for the attempted murder of double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.
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Lord Macdonald said the case "highlights that American prosecutors tend to be more aggressive than British prosecutors in this area, and that is a shame". "We call on Russian Federation to live up to its responsibilities as a member of the UN Security Council to uphold global peace and security".
Mr Chizhov told the BBC's Andrew Marr show that Mr Skripal could "rightly be referred to as a traitor".
While Russia has vigorously denied involvement in the attack, Western powers see it as the latest sign of alleged Russian meddling overseas.
Britain has announced the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats over the poisoning, and Russia said it would respond in kind. The British side maintains Russian involvement in the poisoning, using the nerve agent called "Novichok", while Moscow has refuted all the accusations.
While the West unites against Russian Federation, some analysts argue Putin's popularity could enjoy a boost ahead of Sunday's presidential elections where he is on track to become the nation's longest-serving ruler since Josef Stalin.
A separate coalition of British MPs, including former Tory leader and Brexiteer Iain Duncan Smith, warned that Russian Federation was attempting to boost the country's "economic influence" over Europe with a new pipeline that would leave British allies open to "blackmail and interference". "And I think the Kremlin will [do] its best to avoid this", Petrov said.
Shulgin said that Russian Federation expects Britain to provide samples of the nerve agent in line with OPCW rules.