United Kingdom appears to be 'destroying' evidence in Skripal case - Russian envoy

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May greets Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Downing Street in central London Britain

Claiming that the substance used in the attack had been a Novichok-class nerve agent developed in the Soviet Union, London rushed to accuse Russian Federation of being involved in the incident.

The letter accuses Russian Federation of testing assassination methods with chemical weapons, including using nerve agents smeared on to door handles.

The strongest concentration of the Novichok nerve agent found in the Salisbury incident was on the front door of Mr Skripal's home.

Russian Federation has charged that British officials are keeping Skripal's daughter in isolation.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is expected to announce the results of its investigation into the attack this week, but will stop short of identifying the source.

"It is highly likely that Novichoks were developed to prevent detection by the West and to circumvent worldwide chemical weapons controls", he said.

The attack prompted the biggest Western expulsion of Russian diplomats since the Cold War as allies in Europe and the United States sided with May's view that Moscow was either responsible or had lost control of the nerve agent.

Earlier on Friday, the national security adviser to Britain's prime minister told NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in a letter that email accounts of Yulia had been targeted in 2013 by cyber specialists from Russia's GRU military intelligence service.

"It is highly likely that the Russian intelligence services view at least some of its defectors as legitimate targets for assassination", he said.

President Donald Trump warned Russia this week of an impending missile strike against its ally Syrian President Bashar Assad over the alleged use of chemical weapons against his own people, although the president subsequently walked back denunciations of Russian President Vladimir Putin for backing Assad.

"There is no plausible alternative explanation".

Making a specific reference to her Russia-based cousin, Viktoria, she said that "her opinions and assertions are not mine and they are not my father's".

"As for "intelligence", it should be remembered that the United Kingdom has a vast record of misleading the government and the public, which entailed catastrophic consequences", the embassy said.

He went on: "We didn't produce and store Novichok, so this is the fact of life and all these allegations that we produce something have nothing to do with the reality".

In response to the claims, he said: "The British Government still hasn't produced any evidence in support of its position that would confirm their official version".

"The codeword for the offensive chemical weapons programme (of which Novichoks were one part) was FOLIANT", he said.

Mr Yakovenko's comments come after it emerged last week that Sergei Skripal, the ex Russian spy who sold secrets to MI6, is no longer critically ill and is "improving rapidly", according to doctors at Salisbury hospital where he is being treated.

The police officer who was severely affected by the nerve agent, DS Nick Bailey, was allowed to leave hospital three weeks ago.

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