Russia will hand over to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) materials on Western Novichok-related research, a high-ranking official of the Russian ministry of industry and trade said on Tuesday.
"Russia has prepared relevant supplements that will be submitted to the OPCW secretariat later this week. They include the entire background on that matter, including on Novichok-related research in Western countries," Viktor Kholstov, director of the ministry’s department on the implementation of convention liabilities, told a news conference, TASS reports.
"We have all the evidence proving that the United States manufactured all nerve toxins known under the name of Novichok," he said.
"We have analyzed everything that was developed in this area to find a wide range of chemicals that were patented as nerve poisonous substances in the United States back in the 1980s. These patents had existed before the late 1990s, i.e. before the Chemical Weapons Convention was signed and the list of banned chemicals was drawn. The Americans held back these chemicals, despite the fact that they already had already knew that these were highly toxic substances," he said.
"There are about 400 such toxic agents," Kholstov said, adding that Russia suggests they should be added to the Convention, along with 600 other substances. "About 1,000 toxic agents are to be added to the Convention’s lists," he stressed.
He sounded critical about the United States’ and the Netherlands’ recent initiative to supplement the list of prohibited substances with only two agents. "We think it is an ostrich policy to show only two agents and hold back the rest," he said.
After the Salisbury incident in the spring of 2018, the Russian foreign ministry said that the Novichok-type agents most probably originated from the United Kingdom, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Sweden and, possibly, the United States.