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BZ Substance Possessed by UK, US, Allegedly Used in Salisbury - Lavrov

© REUTERS / Hannah McKayPolice officers guard the cordoned off area around the home of former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, Britain, April 3, 2018
Police officers guard the cordoned off area around the home of former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, Britain, April 3, 2018 - Sputnik International
The United Kingdom has accused Moscow of poisoning ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal in the UK town of Salisbury with what UK experts have claimed was an A234 nerve agent, which had allegedly been produced in the Soviet Union.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said citing data from the Swiss laboratory that the BZ toxin was used in the poisoning of the Skripals, adding that the chemical has been in the possession of the US and the UK, but has never been produced in Russia. Specialists from the laboratory finished examining the samples on March 27.

"Based on the results of the examination, traces of the toxic chemical BZ and its precursors, related to chemical weapons of the second category in accordance with the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, were found in the samples. BZ is a nerve agent temporarily disabling a person. The effect is achieved within 30-60 minutes and lasts up to four days," Lavrov said, citing the results of the Swiss lab's examination.

Lavrov went on to ask why the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which is investigating the poisoning, hasn't taken the information about the BZ chemical into consideration. He also pointed out that the BZ chemical, as well as the Novichok toxin, was not mentioned in the OPCW's final report.

"If, of course, the OPCW refutes the fact of using the laboratory of Spiez, it will be interesting to listen to its explanations," the foreign minister added.

OPCW experts determined that a toxic chemical of high purity was used in the Skripal poisoning, but did not mention who could have been behind the incident.

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Lavrov went on to state that Moscow seeks to focus on facts regarding the so-called Skripal case. He noted that the UK authorities don't answer Moscow's questions on the issue, saying the Russian authorities should answer the questions first.

READ MORE: UK 'Manipulating' Yulia Skripal as Poisoning Narrative Collapses – Academic

Skripal and his daughter were found unconscious on March 4 on a bench at a shopping center in the UK city of Salisbury. London has accused Moscow of orchestrating the attack. Soon after the incident, London expelled 23 Russian diplomatic workers in retaliation. Over 25 countries have since expelled Russian diplomats "in solidarity" with London. Moscow has denied the accusations as baseless, offering assistance in the investigation.

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