UK Nat. Security Adviser Reportedly Claims Russia Spied on Skripals for Years

UK Nat. Security Adviser Reportedly Claims Russia Spied on Skripals for Years

Alexander Yakovenko also accused the British authorities of destroying evidence in the Salisbury attack and said the British government had yet to produce the evidence to back its claims that Russian Federation was responsible.

Sedwill also said that Russian Federation has tested means of delivering chemical agents "including by application to door handles", pointing out that the highest concentration of the chemical found after the attack was on Skripal's front door handle.

Sergei Skripal was granted refuge in the United Kingdom following a 2010 spy exchange between the US and Russian Federation. Cyberspecialists from Russia's Foreign Intelligence Services hacked Ms. Skripal's email in 2013, the letter says.

Theresa May, the British prime minister, has said the Skripals were attacked with one of the Novichok group of poisons, which had been developed by the Soviet Union in the 1970s and 80s.

The comments came in a letter from Sedwill to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, the PA said.

He confirmed Russia's receipt on Thursday of a classified report from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which the organization sent after confirming Britain's identification of a toxic agent used in the poisoning.

Turning to "operational experience", Sedwill said Russian had a "proven record of conducting state-sponsored assassination".

In a letter to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), the National Security Adviser Sir Mark Sedwill has revealed that Skripals were the subject of "interest" from the Kremlin's security services since 2013 and there was evidence that Russian Federation trained "special units" to use nerve agents. "The Russian state has previously produced Novichoks and would still be capable of doing so".

Last week, the chief executive of the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory in Porton Down, Britain's premier chemical weapons laboratory, said its scientists could not identify "the precise source" of the chemical, though its purity indicated that it was nearly certainly created by a "state actor".

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

He said, based on British intelligence, that Russian Federation had developed a next generation nerve-agent group called Novichok and stockpiled small amounts of the agent within the last decade.

Skripal, 66, and his daughter, 33, were admitted to a hospital after being found unconscious on a public bench on March 4.

Alexander Yakovenko told reporters.

For at least five years, Russia monitored the emails of Yulia Skripal - the daughter of a Russian former spy poisoned last month, British officials said Friday.

We didn't hear any signs, any applications from the British side.

Mr Yakovenko complained at the continued refusal of the British authorities to grant consular access to Ms Skripal following her discharge from hospital.

On Wednesday she said she did not now wish to take up an offer of consular assistance from the Russian embassy, according to a note released by London's Metropolitan Police.

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