United Kingdom defence lab: No ID yet for source of nerve agent

Skripal scene

Yulia Skripal was poisoned with a nerve agent just days after gaining access to a £150,000 'secret bank account' with proceeds from a house sale in Britain, it has emerged.

He said if Britain does not show evidence to back up its allegation "there are ample grounds to assume that we are dealing with a grand scale provocation organized in London aimed to discredit Russian Federation".

Mr Buzhinsky claimed it was "nonsense" Russia was behind the attack as President Vladimir Putin had no benefit out of the attack, which took place before the Russian Presidential election.

It said the meeting behind closed doors will start at 10am (0800 GMT) at the OPCW's headquarters in The Hague.

Putin said there were 20 countries that could manufacture the nerve agent, adding he was "surprised at the speed with which the anti-Russian campaign was promoted and accelerated".

Russian Federation has denied any involvement in the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal.

Mr Lavrov claimed that British intelligence agencies could have been involved as part of efforts to distract public attention from the British government's hard talks to exit the European Union.

Russian Federation has denied responsibility for the poisoning, and condemned the U.S. and U.K.'s responses to the attack.

Former double agent Skripal, 66, remains critically ill following the March 4 attack, while his daughter, 33, is understood to be awake and talking.

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Chizhov says "Russia clearly had no motive" to attack Skripal, who was convicted of spying for Britain but freed in a 2010 spy swap.

Without providing any proof, London expelled 23 Russian diplomats and suspended all planned high-level bilateral contacts.

British officials have previously rejected similar Russian allegations.

Russian Federation has already retaliated in kind after Britain initially expelled 23 diplomats.

The damage control statement comes following a Sky News interview by the head of Porton Down, a top-secret army base tasked with finding links between A-234 (which London refers to as the Soviet-engineered nerve agent Novichok) and Moscow.

"There is no way anything like that could have come from us or left the four walls of our facility", he said.

Ambassador Jon Hunstman was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry, a gothic skyscraper built under Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, and told that 60 diplomats from United States missions had a week to leave Russia, as Washington had expelled 60 Russians.

Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were attacked with the nerve agent on 4 March.

So far 29 nations have expelled diplomats over the poisoning, which the British government holds Russian Federation responsible for. Moscow vehemently denies its responsibility. Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko called Skripal's poisoning a "provocation arranged by Britain" in order to justify high military spending, because "they need a major enemy".

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