The Latest: Chemical weapons watchdog to meet over spy case

The Latest: Chemical weapons watchdog to meet over spy case
The Associated Press

MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain (all times local):

5:50 p.m.

The global chemical weapons control body will hold an emergency meeting to discuss the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal, at Russia’s request.

Yury Filatov, Russia’s ambassador to Ireland, says Moscow asked the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons “to call an extraordinary session” at its headquarters in The Hague.” The organization says the meeting will be held at 0800GMT Wednesday.

Filatov says Russia wants Britain to “provide every possible element of evidence” it holds about the March 4 attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the English city of Salisbury.

Britain blames Russia for the pair’s poisoning with a Soviet-developed nerve agent. Russia denies involvement.

Filatov said Tuesday that if the U.K. does not show evidence, “there are ample grounds to assume that we are dealing with a grand scale provocation organized in London aimed to discredit Russia.”

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1:30 p.m.

A top Russian diplomat says the nerve agent poisoning of a former Russian spy may have been arranged by Britain to justify military spending.

The March 4 poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the English city of Salisbury sent shockwaves across Europe. British authorities suspect Skripal was poisoned by a Soviet-made nerve agent. Moscow vehemently denies its responsibility. European Union nations, the United States and other Western countries joined Britain in expelling more than 150 Russian diplomats from their countries.

Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko in comments relayed by Russian news agencies on Tuesday called Skripal’s poisoning a “provocation arranged by Britain” in order to justify high military spending because “they need a major enemy.”

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