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OPCW to release statement at 1115 GMT on spy poisoning

London blames Moscow for the March 4 attack on Skripal
AFP

The Hague (AFP) – The world’s chemical arms watchdog said it will release a statement about 1115 GMT Thursday about its probe into last month’s alleged poisoning of a former Russian double agent.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons will be issuing a press release “around 1:15 pm Central European Time,” a spokesperson told AFP. 

It will be statement only, with no press conference. Earlier the body said in brief statement that it anticipated a press release would be issued around 1:00 PM today as well as “the unclassified executive summary per the request of the UK government.” 

At the request of the British government, OPCW experts have carried out an independent investigation into the alleged attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter on March 4 in the town of Salisbury.

London blames Moscow for the attack, and British scientists have identified the chemical used as a Soviet-designed nerve agent, Novichok.

A police officer among the first at the scene in Salisbury was also hospitalised, but was released on March 22.

Yulia Skripal was discharged from hospital on Monday. While her whereabouts are unknown, she said she is being supported by British police officers who are keeping her informed of their high-profile investigation.

The OPCW, which works to rid the world of chemical arms stockpiles, is based in The Hague and was brought in to carry out an independent analysis of the incident.

Its experts took their own samples from Salisbury which were brought back to its labs in Rijswijk, and then also sent to four separate certified labs in other countries for analysis.

Yulia Skripal was visiting her father when the attack took place. Sergei Skripal was imprisoned in Russia for selling secrets to British intelligence in the 1990s but was exchanged in a spy swap in 2010.

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