Lavrov: Swiss lab reports Skripal toxin not Russian, but US/UK
"Novichok"? No. BZ, 3-quinuclidinyl benzilate
Lavrov: Skripal poison, according to the Swiss laboratory, was not made in Russia, but in the USA and the UK.
The substance used against Sergei Skripal was a toxin called BZ, according to a Swiss OPCW lab. The poison had never been produced in Russia but had been used in the US, UK and other NATO countries.
Sergei Skripal, a former Russian-British double agent, and his daughter Julia were poisoned with a toxin called 3-quinuclidinyl benzilate or BZ, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, citing the findings of a study by a Swiss chemistry lab that was working on the samples provided by London to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated:
“Based on the results of the investigation, traces of the toxic chemical BZ and its precursors, related to chemical weapons of the second category under the Chemical Weapons Convention, were found in the samples. BZ is a nerve gas that temporarily puts a person out of action. The effect is achieved within 30-50 minutes and lasts for up to four days.”
Police officers are preparing the material while the OPCW (Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) inspectors are working on the incident surrounding former Russian agent Sergei Skripal in Salisbury.
The Swiss Center sent the results to the OPCW. However, the UN’s Chemistry Inspectorate limited itself to confirming in its final report the formula of the substance used to poison the Skripals, without mentioning the other facts set out in the Swiss document, the Russian Foreign Minister added. He went on to say that Moscow would question the OPCW for the reasons for its decision not to include any further information from the Swiss in its report.
“Of course, if the OPCW rejects the findings of the Spiez Laboratory, it will be interesting to hear the explanations,” said the Foreign Minister.
Previously, OPCW experts found that the Skripal poisoning used a high purity, toxic chemical, but did not say who was behind the incident.
Lavrov stressed that Moscow is trying to focus on facts in the Skripal case. He noted that the British authorities were not answering Moscow’s questions on this issue.
Sergei Skripal and his daughter were found unconscious on a bench in the British city of Salisbury on March 4. London accused Moscow of carrying out the attack. A few days after the incident, London expelled 23 Russian diplomats. More than 25 countries joined the British decision to abruptly punish Russia diplomatically without any strong evidence.
Moscow has rejected the allegations in the case Skripal as unfounded and offers assistance in the investigation.