Prague, May 13 (CTK) – Double agent Sergei Skripal, poisoned by the Novichok agent in Britain this March, was secretly in Prague in 2012 and he met representatives of Czech security forces at least once in Britain, the weekly Respekt said on its webpage today.
Respekt writes its sources do not think the attack on him was connected in any way with his visit to Prague.
Respekt writes that Skripal, who was recruited by the British MI6 in 1995, had a much bigger position in the Russian secret services than officially said.
In the first half of the 1990s, he headed the personnel department of the military intelligence GRU, thanks to which he had an excellent overview of the deployment of its agents in Europe and he knew the identity of some of them, it adds.
After settling down in Britain, Skripal started cooperating with MI6 in order to uncover the network of Russian agents.
“For this purpose, the British also enabled a meeting of Skripal and representatives from partnership countries with which they closely cooperate. The Czech Republic has been one of them since the 1990s,” Respekt writes.
“At least once, in 2012, Skripal visited Prague and though he only stayed for a short time in it, his trip was a contribution to the local secret services,” it adds.
Britain accused Russia of being behind the attack by the Novichok. Russia then said the poison could have originated from Russia.
President Milos Zeman then said, referring to the report delivered to him by the military intelligence, that a small quantity of Novichok had been produced and tested in the Czech Republic, though a report from the BIS counter-intelligence ruled this out.
Russia then welcomed Zeman’s statement, arguing that it refuted the British allegations.
Reacting to Zeman’s statement, the Defence Ministry said the substances of the Novichok type were synthesised for the purposes of chemical warfare, but only in a microscopic quantity. It ruled it out that they could get out from labs.
The Foreign Ministry said the Czech Republic had not tested the same substance as that with which Skripal was poisoned.