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Britain official: Russian Federation spied on Yulia Skripal's emails for 5 years

14 April 2018

Russian Federation has denied everything over the Skripal case, including suggesting the United Kingdom may have carried out the attack.

Russian special services have been monitoring Sergei and Yulia Skripal for at least five years, as it was stated in the letter of Mark Sedwill, the National Security Adviser, to Jens Stoltenberg, the Nato Secretary General, as Sky News reported.

In it, Sedwill alleged Russia's GRU military intelligence service had its cyber experts break into Yulia's email in 2013.

In his letter, Sedwill outlines how the Soviet Union "developed a new class of "fourth generation" nerve agents, known as Novichoks" during the 1980s and Russian Federation was probably the only former Soviet republic to pursue "an offensive chemical weapons programme after independence".

On Thursday, OPCW confirmed Britain's finding that Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with a nerve agent in the English city of Salisbury on March 4.

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He said Russian Federation had a proven record of state-sponsored assassinations and had tested ways of delivering chemical weapons, including the use of door handles to spread nerve agents, as Britain believes was done in the Skripal case.

"It is highly likely that the Russian intelligence services view at least some of its defectors as legitimate targets for assassination", he said.

Police believe the pair first came into contact with the nerve agent, identified by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons as Novichok, at Sergei Skripal's home. "There is no plausible alternative explanation".

He wrote: 'It is highly likely that Novichoks were developed to prevent detection by the West and to circumvent worldwide chemical weapons controls.

"It is unlikely that Novichok could be made and deployed by non-state actors", he adds.

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Referring to the 2006 death of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko, Sedwill said Russian Federation had the operational means to carry out such an attack against Skripal.

By 1993, when Russia signed the Chemical Weapons Convention, Sedwill said it was "likely" that some Novichoks had passed testing to allow their use by the Russian military.

Alexander Yakovenko told reporters. "Within the last decade, Russian Federation has produced and stockpiled small quantities of Novichoks under the same programme".

Ms Skripal, 33, was released from the hospital this week but her father remains there. He also questioned the authenticity of a statement issued by Ms Skripal through the Metropolitan Police saying she did not want to meet Russian officials.

"We can not be sure that Yulia's refusal to see us is genuine".

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Britain official: Russian Federation spied on Yulia Skripal's emails for 5 years