USA Synthesized Novichok in 1998
In Early March, in a small British town of Salisbury a stunning incident occurred. Former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned by a severe nerve agent. Undoubtedly, this was an event of a global scale.
Theresa May accused the Russian Federation without any official results of the investigation. The main evidence was Russian president Vladimir Putin used to work for the Soviet intelligence. Moreover, the poison had presumably been created in the USSR. Any other adequate evidence was not presented.
The British government demanded from Russia to explain the way the poisonous agent had been delivered to Britain. However, in violation of international law, London refused to provide Moscow with a sample of the substance.
Moreover, no one was confused by the fact that one of Novichok’s creators Vil Mirzayanov had immigrated to the United States after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In 2008 he published a formula of the agent, code-named “A-234” in his book. Since then the poisonous substance could have been synthesized in any other country that possesses modern chemical laboratories, for example, the US or China.
It is possible that secret Soviet technologies were at the disposal of Western intelligence services even before the publication. The fact is that in early 90s, a group of Mirzayanov’s colleagues moved from the USSR to the United States.
Back in 1998, the formula of Novichok was entered in the NIST (the National Institute of Standards and Technologies) Mass Spectrometry Library database.
The head of the Russian Ministry of Defense chemical and analytics laboratory Igor Rybalchenko told Russian Media that in 1998 he discovered an organophosphorus class substance in the NIST database. The description and chemical properties were identical to Novichok, or substance A-234.
Dennis Rohrbaugh, an officer of the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical and Biological Defense Command had made that record.
The Russian expert noted that the next edition of the database, published in 2000, contained no information about the substance. The data was deleted without any explanation. This case is unique.
Despite the lack of evidence, more than 20 countries in Europe and North America have already imposed sanctions against Russia and expelled dozens of Russian diplomats. The situation is more like a planned and coordinated action, rather than an adequate response.