Two to three weeks to analyse samples from Salisbury attack (VIDEO)

Neil Basu, the Metropolitan Police’s Assistant Commissioner for Counter Terrorism, gives a briefing on the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, outside New Scotland Yard in London, March 13, 2018. — Reuters pic
Neil Basu, the Metropolitan Police’s Assistant Commissioner for Counter Terrorism, gives a briefing on the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, outside New Scotland Yard in London, March 13, 2018. — Reuters pic

LONDON, March 21 — The head of the OPCW chemical watchdog said yesterday that it will take two to three weeks to complete laboratory analysis of samples taken from the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain.

A team of experts from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has arrived in Britain to collect samples of what London says was the Soviet-made nerve agent Novichok.

Russia has denied any involvement in the March 4 attack on former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, who remain in critical condition in the English city of Salisbury.

OPCW chief Ahmet Uzumcu said the samples will be sent to the organization’s main laboratory in The Hague and then to designated labs for analysis.

It will take “another two to three weeks to finalize the analysis,” Uzumcu told reporters.

Asked whether the analysis would be able to determine whether the agent was Novichok, Uzumcu said he did not want to prejudge the outcome of the scientific work.

The OPCW chief was in New York to brief the United Nations Security Council on chemical weapons use in Syria, but he also touched on the Salisbury attack during the closed-door meeting. — AFP

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