Czech Foreign Ministry says nerve gas tested in Brno was different from that used in UK attack

05-05-2018

The Czech Foreign Ministry has ruled out the possibility that the nerve agent tested in the Czech Republic could have been used in the attack against Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Britain.

The Foreign Ministry issued the statement in response to President Zeman’s claim that a minute amount of the nerve-gas Novichok had been produced and tested in the Czech Republic. The president was citing a military intelligence report.

The Foreign Ministry said that a few millilitres of a nerve gas of the Novichok family labelled A-230 was produced, tested, and destroyed by the Czech Military Research Institute in Brno. “The nerve-paralysing poison used in the U.K. attack is called A-234 and is therefore a different variant than the one tested by the Czech military institute for purposes of defence" the ministry statement said.

It moreover stressed that the substance tested in Brno was immediately disposed of by the laboratory and is not stored anywhere, as was the case with the A230 substance. The Brno institute functions with the approval of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

Meanwhile, President Zeman has come under fire for disclosing classified information from a military intelligence report. According to Czech law this is punishable by up to three years in prison, but the president has immunity from prosecution and can only be impeached on grounds of treason.