Russian Federation spies Skripals for five years

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Referring to the 2006 death of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko, Sedwill said Russian Federation had the operational means to carry out such an attack against Skripal.

Russian Federation had tested whether door handles could be used to deliver nerve agents and had targeted the email accounts of Sergei and Yulia Skripal since at least 2013, according to previously classified intelligence over the Salisbury attack that has been made public.

The Skripals were found unconscious on March 4 in the southern English city of Salisbury on March 4.

In a letter to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the United Kingdom's national security chief, Sir Mark Sedwill, said the Kremlin set up a program in the 2000s under the code name Foliant that tested the means for delivering chemical warfare agents and to "train personnel from special units in the use of these weapons".

Sedwill said "credible open-source reporting and intelligence" showed that in the 1980s the Soviet Union developed a family of nerve agents known as Novichoks at a base in Shikhany near Volgograd.

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

"It is highly likely that Novichoks were developed to prevent detection by the West and to circumvent global weapons controls".

While it was "unlikely" that Novichok could be made and deployed by terrorists or criminal gangs, Sir Mark said Russian Federation had continued to produce and stockpile small quantities of the nerve agent within the last decade.

He then describes how Russian Federation later launched a program to test methods of delivering chemical warfare agents and to train personnel in their use.

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"If somebody was spying, why were the British services not complaining about it, because they always complain if something goes wrong in their country or somewhere else", he said during a news conference in London.

Among the techniques they had investigated for delivering nerve agents was applying them to door handles, he said.

Yulia Kripal was released from hospital this week.

In his letter, Sir Mark argued that only Russian Federation had the "technical means, operational experience and the motive" to carry out such an attack.

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

Sir Mark said: "There is no plausible alternative explanation", adding that Russian Federation had continued to produce and stockpile small quantities of Novichok within the last decade.

Russian Federation has continued to deny any involvement in the poisoning of the former spy and his daughter, asking for further investigation into what Sir Mark describes as an attack.

Lavrov said the report does nothing to back the British allegations that Moscow was behind the attack.

Mr Lavrov said the report only confirmed the composition of the substance and that Britain's claim that it confirmed the United Kingdom position on the Skripal case was overstated.

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