The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) report has confirmed the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used in Salisbury, and severely injured three people.
UK world-leading scientists at Porton Down identified it was a military-grade nerve of the type known as Novichok.
The OPCW report identified the toxic chemical had high levels of purity which is indicative of expert production in a controlled scientific environment, more likely to be found in a State.
The report puts beyond doubt one important element in the UK’s assessment that Russia was highly likely to have carried out this attack.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said in a press statement:
“The international chemical weapons watchdog have confirmed the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical used in the attempted assassination of Mr Skripal and his daughter, and which also resulted in the hospitalisation of a British police officer. That was a military grade nerve agent – a Novichok.
“This is based on testing in 4 independent, highly reputable laboratories around the world. All returned the same conclusive results.
“There can be no doubt what was used and there remains no alternative explanation about who was responsible – only Russia has the means, motive and record.
“We invited the OPCW to test these samples to ensure strict adherence to international chemical weapons protocols. We have never doubted the analysis of our scientists at Porton Down.
“In the interest of transparency, and because unlike the Russians we have nothing to hide, we have asked the OPCW to publish the executive summary for all to see and to circulate the full report to all state parties of the OPCW, including Russia.
“We will now work tirelessly with our partners to help stamp out the grotesque use of weapons of this kind and we have called a session of the OPCW Executive Council next Wednesday to discuss next steps. The Kremlin must give answers.
“We must, as a world community, stand up for the rules based order which keeps us all safe. The use of weapons of this kind can never be justified, and must be ended.”