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Nerve agent attack: Johnson faces questions over Porton Down claim
05 April 2018, 12:52 | Myrtle Vega
Fernavall Lotte Global Look Press
The head of the Porton Down, a United Kingdom military research facility, has said his scientists have not verified that the nerve agent used in Salisbury came from Russian Federation.
"We were able to identify it as Novichok, to identify that it was military-grade nerve agent", Gary Aitkenhead, chief executive of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down in England had told Sky News. "But we provided the scientific information to the government, who have then used a number of other sources to piece together the conclusions they've come to".
Aitkenhead added that "extremely sophisticated methods" were needed to create the nerve agent, and that was "something only in the capabilities of a state actor".
Boris Johnson has accused Jeremy Corbyn of "playing Russia's game" after the Labour leader criticised the UK's Foreign Secretary over his handling of the Salisbury spy poisoning.
The nerve agent had been placed on Sergei Skripal's front door, police said.
Bizarrely, the Foreign Office denies Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson claimed the novichock "categorically" came from Russian Federation, despite a recorded interview clearly showing he did.
"We need to get to the source of this to prevent it ever happening again".
German Government spokesperson Ulrike Demmer said: "We share Britain's view that there is a high likelihood that Russian Federation is behind it".
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As the fallout from the incident continues, both Skripal and his daughter remain hospitalized in Salisbury.
The UK Foreign Office has admitted deleting a Twitter post claiming that experts had "made clear" that the nerve agent used in the Salisbury attack was made in Russian Federation.
They quickly pounced on Aitkenhead's comments, pointing to them as proof of what they have maintained all along - that the British claims, and those of their Western allies, are fabrications "part of a large-scale political provocation".
"Porton Down identified never agent as military grade Novichok".
"Of course, there is no requirement in the Chemical Weapons Convention for the victim of a chemical weapons attack to engage in a joint investigation with the likely perpetrator", it said.
Most of these people also transformed into armchair generals as soon as the Iraq war was mooted, an act that predictably became Britain's biggest foreign policy disaster of the last 30 years.
'There is no way anything like that could have come from us or left the four walls of our facility, ' he said.
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the world's chemical watchdog, will meet Wednesday to discuss Britain's allegations that Russian Federation was responsible for the poisoning, according to documents released on Tuesday.
"We deal with a number of very toxic substances as part of the work that we do", he said.
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