Press release: Salisbury incident: Foreign Secretary statement on OPCW report

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Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said:


Today the international chemical weapons watchdog have confirmed the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical used in the attempted assassination of Mr Skripal and his daughter, and which also resulted in the hospitalisation of a British police officer. That was a military grade nerve agent – a Novichok.

This is based on testing in 4 independent, highly reputable laboratories around the world. All returned the same conclusive results.

There can be no doubt what was used and there remains no alternative explanation about who was responsible – only Russia has the means, motive and record.

We invited the OPCW to test these samples to ensure strict adherence to international chemical weapons protocols. We have never doubted the analysis of our scientists at Porton Down.

In the interest of transparency, and because unlike the Russians we have nothing to hide, we have asked the OPCW to publish the executive summary for all to see and to circulate the full report to all state parties of the OPCW, including Russia.

We will now work tirelessly with our partners to help stamp out the grotesque use of weapons of this kind and we have called a session of the OPCW Executive Council next Wednesday to discuss next steps. The Kremlin must give answers.

We must, as a world community, stand up for the rules based order which keeps us all safe. The use of weapons of this kind can never be justified, and must be ended.
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