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Moscow accuses OPCW of manipulating Skripal probe

AFP  |  Moscow 

today accused the weapons watchdog of manipulating the results of its probe into the of a former Russian spy, saying his samples had traces of a used by the West.

Britain says former double agent and his daughter were last month targeted with a of the Novichok family which was developed in the

The attack shredded ties between and Britain and led to a severe crisis in relations between and the West including a huge wave of tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions.

The Weapons has said it confirmed "the findings of the relating to the identity of the toxic chemical" without naming the substance involved.

Today, Russian said the OPCW had sent the Skripals' biomedical samples to Swiss experts who found they contained traces of the BZ used by the West.

"According to the results of the examination, the samples had traces of toxic BZ and its precursors," Lavrov said, citing what he said was "confidential information." "BZ is a nerve agent that temporarily incapacitates a person," Lavrov said, adding that the chemical was used by the military of the US, Britain and other NATO members.

"and the USSR never developed such " "In this regard we are asking the OPCW why the information which reflected the conclusions of specialists from the was completely omitted from the final document." "And of course if the OPCW decides to deny that it used the then it would be interesting to hear those explanations too."

Lavrov appeared to be referring to the Swiss institute for the protection of the population against nuclear, and dangers located in the Swiss town of Spiez.

It is known as the

Lavrov also said that the Swiss experts had found that the Skripals' samples contained traces of A-234 -- one of the nerve agents of the Novichok group -- "in its original form" and in considerable quantities.

Lavrov cast doubt on that conclusion, saying a big dose of that substance would have killed the Skripals.

He said that claim was "extremely suspicious" because the highly volatile A-234 nerve agent could not have been found at the scene in large quantities given that more than two weeks had passed between the attack and the collection of the samples.

"The clinical picture," he added, showed that the nerve agent BZ had been used on the Skripals.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, April 15 2018. 00:30 IST