Skripals: Lavrov points at NATO warfare agent BZ

The substance used on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia was an agent called BZ, according to Swiss Spiez lab, the Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said. The agent has been never produced in Russia, but has been in disposal of the US, UK, and other NATO states.

Skripals were poisoned with an incapacitating toxin known as 3-Quinuclidinyl benzilate or BZ, Lavrov said, citing the results of the examination conducted by a Swiss chemical lab, which examined the samples London delivered to the Organisation for the Prohibition of the Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

The Swiss center conveyed the results to the OPCW. However, the UN watchdog on chemical weapons limited its report to confirming the formula of the substance  in its final report omitting the other facts indicated in the Swiss document, Lavrov continued. Further the Minister ensured that Moscow would request the OPCW to explain its decision to omit significant information provided by the Swiss report.

Lavrov revealed that the Swiss center that assessed the samples is the Spiez Laboratory. This facility is a Swiss state research center controlled by the Swiss Federal Office for Civil Protection and, ultimately, by the country’s defense minister. The lab is also an internationally recognized center of excellence in the field of the nuclear, biological, and chemical protection and is one of the five centers permanently authorized by the OPCW.

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