3 May, 2018
“Novichok was produced and stored in the Czech territory in some small quantities. This fact is a crushing blow to London’s theory that is already falling apart at the seams,” Russian Senator Aleksey Pushkov said in a Twitter post, commenting on the recent revelations made by the Czech President Milos Zeman. “London is confused: Its whole construct is crumbling,” the Russian politician added.
Earlier on Thursday, Zeman told the Czech Barrandov TV channel that his country “produced and tested Novichok, even though [it was produced] only in small quantities and then destroyed.” He made his statement following an inquiry conducted by the Czech security services into the issue.
A report provided by Czech military intelligence said that a nerve agent that was produced by the Czech Military Research Institute in the city of Brno was, in fact, Novichok. Another report, which was provided by the Czech Security Service (BIS), however, disputed this fact. The Czech president apparently considered the military intelligence report to be more convincing.
In March, Russian diplomats named the Czech Republic as among the most probable countries from which Novichok might have come. The list also included Slovakia, Sweden and the UK itself. The Czech authorities at the time denied these facts and even summoned the Russian ambassador over the issue.
Novichok, as the UK claims, was used to poison the former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the British town of Salisbury in early March. The British authorities rushed to blame Moscow for the incident but ultimately failed to provide any evidence to substantiate their accusations.
Russia has repeatedly expressed its readiness to cooperate with the UK in the investigation of the case. London, however, is still reluctant to accept Moscow’s offer.