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UK Police: It Will Cost Over $13Mln to Probe Alleged Cases of Novichok Use

© Sputnik / Justin Griffits-Williams / Go to the mediabankAmesbury, UK
Amesbury, UK - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The police of the southwestern UK country of Wiltshire country said on Thursday that the operational costs for investigation of two incidents related to the use of Novichok military-grade nerve agent will reach a sum of over 10 million pounds (almost $13 million).

"Wiltshire Police operational costs for two Novichok incidents in Salisbury and Amesbury are expected to reach more than £10 million pounds … Wiltshire Police had to request mutual aid support from police forces across the country in order to meet the extraordinary demand placed on the force after two major incidents were declared in the space of four months," the police said in a statement.

The police expect that the expenditure will be covered by the central UK government, according to the statement.

"I am grateful that the Government has already pledged £4.1million pounds towards the costs incurred by Wiltshire Police during the investigation into the attack on Yulia and Sergei Skripal … I fully expect all costs associated with these unparalleled incidents to be met by the government," Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon Angus Macpherson said, as quoted in the statement.

READ MORE: US Urges Russia to Allow Chemical Weapons Inspections Amid Skripal Sanctions

Moscow Kremlin - Sputnik International
Kremlin Rejects US Claims of Skripal Case Links, Calls Sanctions 'Unacceptable'
The investigation is launched into two similar cases that took place in the UK over the last several months: the poisoning of former Russian intelligence agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, who were found unconscious on a bench at a shopping center in Salisbury on March 4 and a "serious incident" in Amesbury on July 4, where two people were exposed to an unknown substance and hospitalized in critical condition.

READ MORE: OPCW Assistance Requested by UK on Salisbury Case Lacks Transparency — Embassy

Shortly after, the UK police announced that the couple, Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley, were believed to have handled an item allegedly contaminated with the same military-grade nerve agent, which was allegedly used in an attack on the Skripals in Salisbury. On July 8, Sturgess died at the hospital, while Rowley was soon discharged from the medical facility.

The United Kingdom and its allies have accused Moscow of having orchestrated the attack with what UK experts claim was the A234 nerve agent, without presenting any proof. Russian authorities have strongly refuted the allegations as groundless.

READ MORE: OPCW Accepts UK Request to Confirm Identity of Nerve Agent in Amesbury Incident

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