Czech President Doubts Lawmakers’ Conclusion Country Never Produced Nerve Agents
AP Photo / Andrew Matthews/PAEurope23:41 10.05.2018Get short URL
WARSAW (Sputnik) – Czech President Milos Zeman said on Thursday he doubted Czech lawmakers’ conclusion that the country had never produced and stored any Novichok-family nerve agents allegedly used in the poisoning of Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.
“I was citing the director of the Military Research Institute, who, in February, had published a report on Novichok production. I respect academic background of Parliament’s members, but I am not sure that they are more informed than institute’s director on where the gas had been produced,” Zeman stated after the meeting with Polish President Andrzej Duda in Warsaw.
Earlier, Zeman said that a small amount of the A230 toxin similar to Novichok was produced at the Czech Military Research Institute in 2017 and then destroyed. The Czech president added the country’s military intelligence and the domestic intelligence service, BIS, differed on which substance could be classified as Novichok.
The military intelligence said it was А230, while BIS argued it was А234. Earlier on Thursday, at a closed session of Czech lower house’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, lawmakers came to the conclusion that the Czech Republic had never produced or stored the Novichok-family agents.
On March 4, Skripal and his daughter were found unconscious on a bench near a shopping mall in Salisbury. The UK authorities have blamed Russia for attempting to assassinate the Skripals with what is believed by London to be the A234 nerve agent. Russia has denied having any role in the poisoning, pointing to the lack of evidence provided by the United Kingdom to substantiate its accusations.