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April 19 2018 - 17:04

Russia Dismisses Chemical Watchdog’s Spy Poisoning Probe as 'Strange'

Ben Birchall / PA Images / TASS

Russia's Foreign Ministry has expressed skepticism towards an international chemical watchdog’s investigation into the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain that London blames on Moscow.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov claimed last week that a Swiss lab report had revealed that a nerve agent called BZ, which was not produced in Russia or the Soviet Union, may have been used in the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in March. The head of the designated OPCW lab said that the nerve agent mentioned by Lavrov was in its control sample and had “nothing to do with the samples collected” at the site of the Skripals’ poisoning.

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At a weekly briefing in Moscow on Thursday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Russia deems “any” lab tests of the Skripal samples as “strange.”

Zakharova added that Russia contests OPCW’s assessment of Lavrov’s comment and contrasted it with Moscow’s analysis of the watchdog’s report.  

"We regard skeptically the statement made by OPCW Technical Secretariat’s management since it does not jibe with the data we received analyzing the OPCW report,” Zakharova told the state-run TASS news agency on Wednesday. 

Questioning the lab’s denial of Lavrov’s claim as “disputable,” she called on OPCW to end “this cat-and-mouse game” and release “all available data.”

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