Slovakia Dismisses Russian Nerve Agent Charge

Britain, Nerve Agent, Novichok, Putin, Russia, Slovakia

Bratislava, March 17 (CTK) – The Slovak Foreign Ministry has rejected connecting Slovakia with chemical weapons and their use, ministry spokesman Peter Susko told CTK today, in reaction to the Russian diplomacy statement listing Slovakia among the countries from which the Novichok lethal substance might come.


This poison was used in an attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Britain earlier this month. Both are in a critical condition.


The Slovak military does not have the Novichok substance at its disposal, Defence Ministry spokeswoman Danka Capakova said.


According to several sources, the nerve agent developed in the former Soviet Union.


However, Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, said on Rossiya 24 TV today that the most probable sources of the lethal substance of Novichok type were the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Britain or Sweden. Since the end of the 1990s, these countries have carried out “an intensive research into the substances from the Novichok project,” she said.


Zakharova’s statement is at variance with the available information from both Western and Russian experts, including those who were directly involved in the research and development of Soviet chemical weapons.


“We condemn the attack on Skripal and categorically dismiss that Slovakia would have anything to do with it. We definitely reject connecting Slovakia with chemical weapons and their use,” Susko said.


“We have the exactly set amount of standard combat substances for training purposes that are strictly inspected,” Capakova told CTK.


Slovakia regularly undergoes checks within the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), she added.


The Czech foreign affairs and defence ministers also rejected today the Russian statement that the Novichok lethal substance might come from the Czech Republic.


The attack on Skripal has caused a serious diplomatic conflict between Britain and Russia. London accuses Moscow of the attack, which Moscow denies. Both countries have expelled dozens of their diplomats reciprocally.