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UK Lab Practically Avows It Develops New Components of Toxic Substances – Moscow

© REUTERS / Henry NichollsA woman walks past the Russian Embassy in London, Britain, March 19, 2018
A woman walks past the Russian Embassy in London, Britain, March 19, 2018 - Sputnik International
Russia will once again demand the disclosure of information on the program of producing combat poisoning substances at the UK's Porton Down laboratory, according to the Russian Embassy in the UK.

It turns out, that Chief Executive Gary Aitkenhead has practically confirmed the laboratory is developing and studying new components of combat poisoning substances, a spokesman for the Russian Embassy in London said.

"Indeed, we have noted that statement by the lab's chief executive. This amounts to admitting that the secret facility is a place where new components of military-grade poisons are being researched and developed. Most notably, Mr. Aitkenhead did not deny the existence of chemical weapons stocks. Apparently, they include the A-234 agent that, according to official British statements, was used to poison the Skripals and Sgt Bailey.,” the spokesman said.

He also stated that on 19 March Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson had also hinted at those stocks in his interview with Deutsche Welle's Zhanna Nemtsova.

Chief Executive Gary Aitkenhead of Porton Down said earlier, that the UK's laboratory has the highest levels of security control, insisting that nothing could have left the four walls of the facility.

"We would not be allowed to operate if we had lack of control that could result in anything leaving the four walls of our facility here. There's no way that agent would have left. We have complete confidence that nothing could have come from here out into the wider world," Gary Aitkenhead said.

READ MORE: Kremlin Denies Reports, Skripal Asked Putin For Permission to Return to Russia

Russian ambassador Alexander Vladimirovich Yakovenko speaking at a news conference Thursday March 22, 2018, at his country's embassy in London in the aftermath of the Salisbury nerve agent attack on Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. - Sputnik International
Recall of Russian Ambassador From UK for Consultations Not on Agenda – Source
Relations between the two countries have seriously deteriorated over the Salisbury nerve agent attack in which former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter  suffered serious harm.

The UK side claimed that this substance was related to the Novichok-class nerve agents developed in the Soviet Union. UK Prime Minister Theresa May has accused Russia of orchestrating the attack and expelled 23 Russian diplomats as a punitive measure. 

The Russian side has strongly refuted all the accusations and asked to participate in the investigation. However, Moscow's request for samples of the chemical substance used to poison Skripal was ignored. Moscow also expelled 23 UK diplomats and ordered the British Council to stop its activities in Russia in response to the UK move.

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