Russian Federation sensationally claims Skripals are 'being held prisoner' by the UK

Yulia Skripal was poisoned with a nerve agent in England last month

Mr. Sedwill's letter also says that Britain has evidence that Russian security services have been monitoring the Skripal family.

The national security adviser said Moscow had created the nerve agent Novichok at the Russian research facility in Shikhany as part of an offensive chemical weapons programme with the codename Foliant.

He added: "We have information indicating Russian intelligence service interest in the Skripals dating back at least as far as 2013, when email accounts belonging to Yulia Skripal were targeted by GRU cyber specialists".

Skripal, 66, a former colonel in Russia's military intelligence who betrayed dozens of agents to Britain's MI6 foreign spy service, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were found unconscious on a bench in the cathedral city of Salisbury on March 4. "There is no plausible alternative explanation".

He said Moscow had a proven record of state-sponsored assassinations and had tested ways of delivering chemical weapons, including the use of door handles to spread nerve agents, as Britain believes was done in the Skripal case.

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By 1993, when Russia signed the Chemical Weapons Convention, Sedwill said it was "likely" that some Novichoks had passed testing to allow their use by the Russian military.

Sedwill goes on to claim that Russian Federation was likely the only former Soviet republic to pursue "an offensive chemical weapons programme after independence".

Sir Mark also identified the key institute for developing Novichok in the former Soviet Union as a branch of the State Institute for Organic Chemistry and Technology at Shikany near Volgograd.

"Mr. Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russian Federation", specifically from the Novichok group, British Prime Minister Theresa May said after the incident, based on an assessment by British experts.

He said, based on British intelligence, that Russian Federation had developed a next generation nerve-agent group called Novichok and stockpiled small amounts of the agent within the last decade.

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Police officers guard the cordoned off area around the home of former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, Britain, April 3, 2018.

Yakovenko said he had not seen the letter.

"We can not be sure that Yulia's refusal to see us is genuine".

Calling on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to take action, he concluded: "I know that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation will remain seized of the need to confront the increasingly aggressive pattern of Russian Federation behaviour of which the attack in Salisbury was an acute and recent example".

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