THE HAGUE, April 18 (Xinhua) -- Russia on Wednesday once again slammed Britain's accusing it of poisoning a former spy with nerve agent in the British town of Salisbury as "fabrication" and "poorly disguised anti-Russian provocation accompanied by an unprecedented propaganda campaign".
"We can clearly see all of this on the example of the 'Skripal case' fabricated by the British authorities, this poorly disguised anti-Russian provocation accompanied by an unprecedented propaganda campaign, taken up by a group of countries, and the finalized unprecedented expulsion of diplomats under a far-fetched pretext," said Russia's permanent representative Alexander Vasilievich Shulgin at a meeting of the Hague-based Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
"Russia will not take at face value any conclusions regarding the 'Skipal case' until one simple condition is met: the Russian experts will be provided with access to the victims, as well as to the mentioned materials of the OPCW expert analysis and the entire volume of the real information regarding this incident London has at its disposal," said Shulgin in his statement.
The meeting was called by the UK to discuss the findings of the investigation into the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia on March 4 in Salisbury.
British experts said the nerve agent used was "Novichok", a military-grade nerve agent, which, according to the UK, has been developed in Soviet times and used by Russia.
An OPCW report published on April 12 said its investigation "confirm the findings of the UK relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used in Salisbury". The report says the toxic chemical is of "high purity", with "almost complete absence of impurities", but does not name the substance.
The OPCW "supports our finding that a military grade nerve agent of a type known as Novichok was used in Salisbury. The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DTSL), our laboratories at Porton Down established the highest concentrations of the agent were found on the handle of Mr Skripal's front door," Peter Wilson, UK Permanent Representative to the OPCW, stated at the OPCW meeting on Wednesday.
The UK assesses that there is no plausible alternative explanation for what happened in Salisbury than Russian state responsibility, he added. "We believe that only Russia had the technical means, operational experience, and the motive to target the Skripals."
Wilson said Russia has produced and stockpiled small quantities of Novichoks, has a proven record of conducting state-sponsored assassination and "it is highly likely that the Russian intelligence services view at least some of its defectors as legitimate targets for assassination".
"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 (Russian military intelligence) cyber specialists," said the British diplomat.
In his statement, the Russian representative refuted that the UK has entered a slippery path of deception and has to lie again and again.
"The claim that the Technical Secretariat (of the OPCW) confirmed that this chemical points to its Russian origin is an outright lie," said Shulgin. "The report itself does not say a single word about the name 'Novichok'; the CWC (Chemical Weapons Convention) simply does not contain such a concept. And in the report by the Technical Secretariat there is also no confirmation of the 'Russian footprint' in the chemical substance found in Salisbury."
"Nevertheless, the British authorities immediately disseminated in the world media the fake news that the OPCW supposedly confirmed that the Skripals were poisoned with 'Novichok', and that the latter, they say, was developed in the USSR and Russia only, hence Moscow is to blame," he added.
As to the saying that the extermination of traitors abroad is a Russian state policy, Shulgin called it "slander and complete nonsense". "The United Kingdom will not be able to present a single example of a statement of this kind because nothing similar has ever been said by the Russian leadership."
Shulgin reiterated that in Russia there has never been any research and development or experimental work conducted as part of a programme under the name of "Novichok" while "the 'Novichok'-type nerve agents were in production in a number of countries".
Shulgin also accused the British authorities of holding the Russian citizen Yulia Skripal hostage and subject her to psychological manipulation.
According to the UK representative to the OPCW, Yulia Skripal was discharged from hospital on April 9. "Her medical progress is testimony to the outstanding care she was given by medical staff in Salisbury," Wilson told the OPCW meeting.
The UK announced on Tuesday that decontamination work in Salisbury is starting this week and it will take some months to complete, he added.