G7 Ministers Call For Russia's 'Full Disclosure' On Spy Poisoning In Britain
RFE/RL April 16, 2018
The foreign ministers of the Group of Seven (G7) industrialized countries have called on Russia to provide "full and complete disclosure" about the poisoning of a former Russian double agent and his daughter in Britain last month.
The G7 ministers said in an April 16 statement that they agreed with Britain's assessment that it is "highly likely" that Russia is responsible for the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, last month with a Soviet-developed nerve agent known as Novichok.
Russia has vehemently denied the allegation, while the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said on April 12 that it agreed with the British findings about the type of toxin identified.
The OPCW did not name the substance in its public summary but said it was of "high purity."
"We share, and agree with, the U.K.'s assessment that it is highly likely that the Russian Federation was responsible for the attack and that there is no plausible alternative explanation," the G7 foreign ministers said in the April 16 statement.
The Skripals were hospitalized on March 4 after being exposed to a potent nerve toxin and found unconscious on a bench in Salisbury, in southern England.
Yulia Skripal, who was discharged from the hospital on April 10, said her father was "still seriously ill" and that she was also "still suffering with the effects of the nerve agent used against us," according to a British police statement.
The poisoning has ignited a fierce dispute between the West and Russia, leading to a series of tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions and other measures.
The G7 foreign ministers of Britain, Canada, France, German, Italy, Japan, the United States, and the European Union called on Russia to "urgently address all questions related to the incident in Salisbury," calling the poisoning "a threat to us all."
"Russia should provide full and complete disclosure of its previously undeclared Novichok program to the OPCW in line with its international obligations," they added in the statement.
With reporting by AFP, AP, Reuters, and BBC
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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