Novichok, which poisoned Sergey Skripal and his daughter Julia, was produced and patented in the US

Summary

Representative of Russia in the OPCW Alexandr Sulgin brought a document from the Patent and Trademark Office, which serves as evidence that novichok was manufactured and patented in the US. According to him, in the Google.patents.com search engine, according to the keyword “Novichok”, over 140 patents issued in the US linked to the use and protection against toxic substance A-234 can be found.

Disproof

No evidence given. The Russian MFA Spokesperson Zacharova previously stated that Novichok could have come from Great Britain, Slovakia, Czech Republic or Sweden. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden forcefully rejected her statements, and so did the competent authority on the topic in Sweden (the Swedish Defence Research Agency). https://www.svt.se/nyheter/utrikes/ryssland-giftet-som-anvandes-mot-skripal-kan-ha-kommit-fran-sverige Later on, the Russian ambassador to Sweden stated that it was "a guess" without any facts supporting it https://www.svt.se/nyheter/utrikes/ambassadoren-backar-efter-giftutspel

Also the Czech Foreign Minister Martin Stropnicky on Saturday denied Moscow's accusation that the nerve toxin used against a former Russian double agent and his daughter in southern England came from the Czech Republic. https://mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKCN1GT0ML?__twitter_impression=true

The nerve agent has been identified as Novichok (which means newcomer in Russian). It is known to be more powerful than VX and was developed in Russia in the 1970s and 1980s https://www.voanews.com/a/british-prime-minister-russia-poisoning-spy/4294683.html It's so unusual, that very few scientists outside of Russia have any real experience in dealing with it and no country outside of Russia is known to have developed the substance https://edition.cnn.com/2018/03/13/europe/what-is-novichok-nerve-agent-intl/index.html

In its statement, the European Union expressed shock at the offensive use of any military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia, for the first time on European soil in over 70 years. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2018/03/19/statement-by-the-foreign-affairs-council-on-the-salisbury-attack/

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 106
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 18/04/2018
  • Language/target audience: Czech
  • Country: UK, US
  • Keywords: Sergei Skripal, Chemical weapons/attack
  • Outlet: http://ac24.cz
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