British police have identified several Russians who they believe were behind the nerve agent attack on former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, the Press Association reported on Thursday, citing a source close to the investigation. “Investigators believe they have identified the suspected perpetrators of the Novichok attack. They (the investigators) are sure they (the suspects) are Russian,” the unidentified source close to the investigation said.
President Vladimir Putin accused Britain making baseless allegations against Russia after a former Soviet spy was among four people found poisoned by a nerve agent in southern England. “We would like to get documentary evidence but nobody gives it to us,” Putin, speaking through a translator, told the US network after a summit with President Donald Trump in Finland.
British officials announced late Wednesday that specialists have determined that a couple in their 40s were poisoned by the same lethal toxin — developed by the Soviet Union — that almost killed Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in March. The new victims are both critically ill in the same hospital that treated the Skripals.
Britain said Russia used A-234, which is from a class of nerve agents known as “Novichok,” to poison ex-double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in Salisbury, England, on March 4. Moscow vehemently denied it had anything to do with the attack, which touched off an unprecedented diplomatic war between Russia and the West.
“The most likely source of origin of the toxin are the countries which have been carrying out intense research on the substances from the ‘Novichok’ program, approximately since the end of the 1990s until the present time, and this project is not the creation of Russia or the Soviet Union,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.