OPCW Confirms Salisbury Poisoning, Can’t Say Where Poison Came From

Confirms compound's identity, origin still uncertain

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has confirmed that the Skirpals were poisoned with a specific “toxic chemical,” as alleged by the British government. Both public statement and classified version, however, decline to offer any specific.theories on the origin of the poison.

That’s a problem for Britain, which has been blaming the Russian government for the poisoning since long before testing began. They identified the poison as Novichuk, and concluded it was Russia’s fault, despite there being other nations with access to the chemical.

British officials were quick to claim the OPCW report as vindication, since the classified version reportedly contained the chemical formula for the poison. Yet without any evidence on where it came from, they’re really no better off than before.

The Skirpal poisonings were used by the British government to take major diplomatic measures against Russia. Russia has denied anything to do with the incident, and offered to help investigate. Britain has spurned that offer and continued to blame them.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.