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Chemical Weapons Watchdog To Discuss Skripal Poisoning Case

April 03, 2018

The international chemical weapons watchdog is set to meet on April 4 to discuss Britain's allegations against Russia over the poisoning of an ex-Russian double agent in England last month.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said on April 3 that Russia had requested a meeting of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)'s executive council to discuss the case.

The meeting at the OPCW's headquarters in The Hague comes amid a diplomatic dispute between Moscow and Western countries over the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the city of Salisbury on March 4.

London blames Moscow for the military-grade nerve agent attack, while Russia fiercely denies involvement.

Britain, the United States, and two dozen other countries have expelled more than 150 Russian diplomats in response to the poisoning, and Moscow responded in kind.

British authorities has invited OPCW experts to take chemical samples from Salisbury for analysis.

Last week, Russia sent a list of questions to the OPCW's secretariat regarding the information provided by London to the agency, the composition of the expert group that visited Britain, and other issues.

Russian news agencies quoted the OPCW's press service as saying that the organization anticipates sending its answers to Russia by the end of April 3.

On April 2, Russia's envoy to the OPCW said in televised remarks that Moscow won't accept the agency's conclusions without Russian involvement.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the United States and Britain of spreading "lies and disinformation" about the poisoning.

And Russian Foreign Minister Aleksandr Grushko on April 3 said the Skripal case was a "provocation" by London aimed at further escalating tensions between Russia and the West.

British officials have previously rejected similar Russian allegations.

Sergei Skripal remains hospitalized in critical condition, while his daughter Yulia has partially recovered.

Skripal was a colonel in Russia's military intelligence agency until he was arrested and charged with spying for Britain. He was released in a 2010 spy swap involving the United States and he moved to Britain.

With reporting by AFP, TASS, and Interfax

Source: https://www.rferl.org/a/chemical-weapons-watchdog- discuss-skripal-poisoning-case/29142580.html

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.



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