G7 Countries Urge Russia to Disclose Information About Novichok Program

Photo from the Novoe vremja website


The G7 countries have issued a joint statement requesting the Russian Federation to disclose all data on the Novichok chemical weapons development program, Ukrinform reports.

“The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has now independently confirmed the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used in Salisbury. Russia should provide full and complete disclosure of its previously undeclared Novichok program to the OPCW in line with its international obligations,” reads the statement by the ministers of the G7.

The statement further says that the G7 countries agree with the U.K.’s assessment that it is highly likely that the Russian Federation was responsible for the attack and that there is no plausible alternative explanation.

“This use of a military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia, constitutes the first offensive use of a nerve agent in Europe since the Second World War and is a grave challenge not only to the security of the United Kingdom but to our shared security. It is an assault on U.K. sovereignty. Any use of chemical weapons by a state party, under any circumstances, is a clear breach of international law and a violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention. It is a threat to us all. Their use is abhorrent, completely unacceptable and must be systematically and rigorously condemned. We, participating states of the International Partnership Against Impunity for the Use of Chemical Weapons, stand together against impunity for those who develop or use these weapons, anywhere, any time, under any circumstances,” they added in the statement.

They believe that Russia’s failure to address legitimate requests from the U.K. government further underlines its responsibility in the poisoning of former Russian spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter, in Britain.

Russia has vehemently denied the allegations that they are behind the attack.

The G7 statement comes after Western nations expelled more than 150 Russian diplomats in a coordinated action against Moscow in support of Britain, and Russia then expelled diplomats from around 23 countries as retaliation.