Response to the United Kingdom’s update on the OPCW Report on the Nerve Agent attack in Salisbury, UK
As delivered by Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Michele Siders
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
April 12, 2018
The United States welcomes the OPCW’s Technical Assistance Visit report published today, which confirm the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used in Salisbury and severely injured three people.
The final analysis in the OPCW’s report was based on findings by multiple OPCW-designated laboratories.
The United States fully supports the United Kingdom and the need for a special meeting of the OPCW Executive Council to discuss the event in Salisbury now that the OPCW has completed its independent analysis.
As we have stated previously, the United States agrees with the UK assessment that Russia is responsible for the attack on UK soil using a chemical weapon – either through deliberate use or through its failure to declare and secure its stocks of this nerve agent.
Russia is known to have developed such military-grade nerve agents of the type used in the Salisbury attack. Russia also has a record of conducting state-sponsored assassinations. Public statements by Russian officials view defectors as traitors and legitimate targets for assassinations.
Only Russia has the means, motive and record to conduct this kind of attack.
Russian denials of responsibility follow a familiar script. From Crimea to MH17 to the Donbas to the killing of Litvinenko, the list goes on and on. Russia denies responsibility for its indisputably reprehensible conduct.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.