There are no chemical weapons at the laboratories of the State Scientific Research Institute of Organic Chemistry and Technologies (Gosniiokht) in the town of Shikhany (Saratov region), stated Mikhail Babich, Ex-Chairman of the State Commission for Chemical Disarmament, current Presidential Envoy to the Volga Federal District, on April 6, Interfax reports.
“This laboratory was outside the scope of our range of work. All bases which stored chemical weapons are known, Shikhany is not one of them,” –Babich said, noting that there was indeed a facility located in the Saratov region, but it wasn’t Shikhany.
The statement of the ex-chairman came as an answer to a publication in The Times newspaper, which reported the conclusions made by the United Kingdom intelligence service. According to the intelligence, the nerve agent substance “novichok”, which Sergei Skripal and his daughter have presumably been poisoned with, was manufactured at a military research facility in the closed town of Shikhany in the Saratov region. Also, chemistry scientists Leonid Rink and Vladimir Uglev who worked at Shikhany during the Soviet period had told the media outlets that the Gosniiokht worked on poisonous substances classified as “novichok”.
For reference: according to the information published on the Gosniiokht website, its branch in Shikhany is engaged in activities “in the sectors related to the security of the Russian Federation and the implemenation of the federal target program “Disposal of chemical weapons stockpiles in Russian Federation””.
The former GRU colonel Sregei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned on March 4 in London, Salisbury, using the nerve agent gas known as “novichok”. The British government accuses Russia of this, though the representatives of the laboratory which conducted analysis on the substance stated that it is impossible to identify the origin country of the gas.
Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency