Source of nerve agent not yet identified, United Kingdom defense lab says

Vladimir Putin

"Regardless of what one thinks about Russian Federation, my study of worldwide law taught me a different way to deal with other states", Laschet, premier of the state of North Rhine-Westphlia, said on Twitter.

The head of the Porton Down military research facility has said his scientists have not verified that the nerve agent used in Salisbury came from Russian Federation.

Gary Aitkenhead Chief Executive of the Porton Down defence laboratory handling the case investigation said that analysts had identified it (nerve agent) as military-grade Novichok but they had not proved that it was made in Russian Federation as per news outlet France 24.

"We have not identified the precise source, but we have provided the scientific info to government who have then used a number of other sources to piece together the conclusions you have come to", Aitkenhead said.

British military scientists identified the nerve agent used to poison ex-spy Sergei Skripal was Novichok, but have not verified where exactly it was made.

Asked about his scientists' findings, Mr Aitkenhead said: "We were able to identify it as Novichok, to identify it was a military-grade nerve agent".

He added: "It is our job to provide the scientific evidence of what this particular nerve agent is".

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Many countries have expelled Russian diplomats from there countries and Russia has retaliated by expelling 60 US diplomats and closing the USA consulate in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Aitkenhead said the British government had "other inputs" it could use to determine the origin of the nerve agent, some of them intelligence-based.

Russia's top diplomat also mocked Britain's claim that there was no plausible alternative explanation for the poisonings of the Skripals.

Filatov says Russian Federation wants Britain to "provide every possible element of evidence" it holds about the March 4 attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the English city of Salisbury.

London has accused Russian Federation of using the Novichok nerve agent, developed in the latter days of the Soviet Union.

US President Donald Trump defended his embrace of Vladimir Putin Tuesday, saying good relations were important but claiming no one had been tougher on Russian Federation.

The OPCW (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) said its executive council would meet in the morning in The Hague. British authorities suspect Skripal was poisoned by a Soviet-made nerve agent.

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The Irish Ambassador in Moscow, Adrian McDaid, was summoned to the Russian foreign ministry in Moscow and informed that one Irish diplomat would be expelled from Russia in answer to the Irish expulsion of a Russian diplomat earlier this week. Her father, however, remains unresponsive and critical.

Moscow's deputy foreign minister, Alexander Grushko, said on Tuesday that the poisonings may have been set up by the United Kingdom to justify an increase in military spending.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko called the poisonings a "provocation arranged by Britain" to justify high military spending because "they need a major enemy".

Evgeny Buzhinsky, who leads security think tank the PIR Center, told the BBC's Today programme he was "afraid that it will end up in a very, very bad outcome".

Worse than the Cold War is a real war.

In response Russian Federation expelled 23 British diplomats, closed a British consulate in Saint Petersburg and halted the activities of the British Council educational and cultural organisation.

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