'Britain has accused Russia of breaching international law by secretly manufacturing and stockpiling the deadly nerve agent used in the Salisbury attack over the past decade, despite having claimed to have destroyed its arsenal.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said he had information demonstrating that Russia has not only continued to accrue chemical weapons, but is exploring how they can be used for targeted assassinations.
British officials are likely to share evidence with international chemical weapons experts who arrive in the UK on Monday to assess samples from the Salisbury attack, which the UK says involved a Russian-made Novichok nerve agent.
If the Kremlin is found culpable for transporting the nerve agent to Salisbury, or to have lied about previously destroying chemical stockpiles, the experts from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) can impose penalties.
It comes as Vladimir Putin is on course to retain the presidency until 2024, following Russian elections characterised by rising anti-West sentiment.
Mr Johnson indicated on Sunday that the UK has intelligence showing Russia lied when in declared to the OPCW last year that it had destroyed all of its 40,000 metric tons of chemical weapons.
He said: “We actually have evidence within the last 10 years that Russia has not only been investigating the delivery of nerve agents for the purposes of assassination, but has also been creating and stockpiling Novichok.”'
Read more: Salisbury attack: Britain accuses Russia of secretly manufacturing nerve agent as international inspectors arrive in UK
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