Foreign Ministers of the Group of Seven (G7) advanced industrial nations have backed the United Kingdom’s charges that Russia was responsible for the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter with a nerve agent, according to a joint statement adopted at a meeting in Canada.
“We share, and agree with, the United Kingdom’s assessment that it is highly likely that the Russian Federation was responsible for the attack and that there is no plausible alternative explanation,” the statement read on Monday.
Sergei Skripal, former Russian GRU colonel, and his daughter Yulia, were reportedly target of an assassination attempt by a nerve agent last month in the city of Salisbury, England.
The United Kingdom has immediately blamed Russia for the attack on the Skripals and claimed that the Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok was used in the poisoning.
Russia has denied any role in the poisoning, pointing to the lack of evidence provided by London to substantiate its accusations, and sought samples of the chemical substance used.
Moreover, Russia has offered to participate in a joint investigation as per international law, but has been rejected.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the BBC over the weekend that a Swiss laboratory contracted by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) had detected the presence of another nerve agent, BZ, in a sample from the United Kingdom. Lavrov claimed that BZ was developed by the United States in the 1950s.