Following this article, why didn't the UK release its results about Novichok when Russia asked for it?

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    I'd argue that your answer lies in the cited article. Moscow isn't cooperating with London's investigation and is putting barriers up to provide that help. If London did send the sample, then Moscow could continue denying assistance (sample lost in the post, sample dropped on floor by intern, sample isn't a Russian nerve agent etc.)
    – user7809
    Commented Mar 16, 2018 at 15:03
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    I think this game is still in progression. So, the question is not valid yet.
    – user17569
    Commented Mar 16, 2018 at 15:05
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    Such kind of behavior , puts a lot of space for conspiracy theorists who might even claim that UK'S MI6 poisoned the former Soviet spy intentionally to put blame on Russia. It seems really odd that U.K. is not cooperating in producing results of the Novichok investigation publicly.
    – user17709
    Commented Mar 16, 2018 at 16:12
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    @AashishLoknathPanigrahi Actually, the results are being verified by the OPCW, which is an independent UN organization (as per the law). The law does not require the UK to share samples with Russia, so they haven't. A technical reason for this seems to be the subject of this question. Commented Mar 16, 2018 at 21:06
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    Russia is the FSB/KGB right now, they are adept at counter-accusation. The man who poisoned Litvinenko became a game-show star in Russia. why would two countries cooperate with that kind of cynicism? Cooperation is be tantamount to trickery at the moment. Commented Mar 17, 2018 at 2:03

1 Answer 1


Because the disclosure of intermediate results of the ongoing investigation would also disclose:

  • the methodology of chemical analysis and the recent technology capabilities available to this particular investigation and to the secret services in general;
  • information about what the investigation knows so far and — most importantly — what it does not know yet; events, collected physical evidence, list of suspected people, etc.

which in turn would let the suspects to:

  • build the defense strategy;
  • orchestrate the covert operation in propaganda outlets;
  • try to salvage agents who have been involved but not under investigation yet;
  • improve their further development of WMD by directing their effort toward developing substances less detectable with current technology.

One thing is when the suspect says, 'it's a horrible tragedy; let us work together to figure out what happened and who's guilty; we provide you with all we know, please also share what you know', and another thing is when they say, 'one should not threaten a nuclear armed country'.

  • To be honest, Putin needs every extra national antagonism he can get at the moment, to maximize his position as the leader in adversity. Putin drops names of assassin victims like a little child asks for christmas presents, he certainly has ultimate juristiction over UK assassinations, which are higher profile than the 300 FSB supervised domestic assassinations that happen every year, and the 50 or so foreign ones. Commented Mar 17, 2018 at 2:10
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    To be fair on the last link, Zakharova said: "Ни один человек не может выйти в парламент своей страны и сказать: я даю России 24 часа. Это что за разговор вообще в принципе? Ведь еще раз говорю – речь идет о Лондоне, который является столицей ядерной державы." Which translates: "No one can/may go to parliament of their country and say, 'I give Russia 24 hours'. What king of talk is that? I repeat - we are talking about London, which is a capital of a nuclear state." Note the _slight_(!) semantic difference ;).
    – kroki
    Commented Mar 17, 2018 at 9:28
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    @kroki, this might be true, but all Russian state-controlled media, incl. Zvjezda, TASS, Rambler, RIA, Sputnik, MK etc. put it this way: «не надо пугать ядерную державу», which leaves little room for interpretation. I wonder if any of those outlets comprehend Russian to notice that "slight semantic difference". :-) Commented Mar 17, 2018 at 17:29
  • @bytebuster, Yup, have to agree, I didn't watch it through, maybe she said those exact words too at some point. Yet I kinda felt like your answer is too biased, and now after taking a peek at your profile I think I know why ;). Anyways, in her recent appearance Zakharova gave some possible reasons why UK doesn't share the samples - let's see how that will turn out... :)
    – kroki
    Commented Mar 17, 2018 at 17:52
  • How EXACTLY would sending A SAMPLE disclose anything of this? Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 21:17

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