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The findings about the combat material developed in the Soviet Union go back to a secret operation of the BND. This shows research of time and other media.

Secret Service: BND procured Nowitschok from Russian laboratory

The findings about the combat material developed in the Soviet Union go back to a secret operation of the BND. This shows research of time and other media.

Secret Service: BND procured Nowitschok from Russian laboratory

The findings about former class of warfare agents developed in Soviet Union, called Nowitschok, are largely attributable to a secret operation of Federal Intelligence Service (BND). After joint research of time with research Association of South German Zeitung, NDR and WDR, an informant of service procured a sample of substance in Nineties. The Bundeswehr was also involved in process.

People involved in decision at time confirm process. On request, federal government and BND declared that "intelligence matters should in principle only be given to secret meetings of German Bundestag." Nowitschok is considered to be one of deadliest ever developed C weapons, its use against Russian defector Sergei Skripal and his daughter in March this year in Salisbury led to a diplomatic crisis between government in Moscow and West.

The operation at time, which began in first half of nineties according to participants, was controversial within federal government. For some time now, BND has led a Russian scientist as a source who had offered hirto carefully guarded military secret of a new class of chemical warfare agents against assurance of a safe residence status for himself and To betray his family. The later defector even offered to bring a sample to Germany.

All this led to complicated political and legal discussions within federal government. In 1990, American chemical weapons stored in West Germany were evacuated at pressure of Chancellor Helmut Kohl, agreements on a worldwide outlawing of Kampfgase were well advanced. In addition, in so-called Paris treaties, Germany had already committed itself to not producing weapons of mass destruction in 1954. "We certainly did not want to give impression that we are interested in such chemical weapons ourselves," says a person familiar with discussions at that time.

Defector came to Germany

With knowledge of chancellery and federal Defense Ministry, sample was analyzed in a laboratory in Sweden, only formula was sent to BND and swearing ministry. What came out of rehearsal is unclear, Swedish Government stated on request that it could not enlighten process in short time.

On instructions of Kohl, BND taught some of its closest partners, including American and British intelligence services. Later, a working group of five Western intelligence services and BND was set up to Nowitschok all findings. In some NATO countries, it is also intended to produce tiny amounts of poison to test its own protective equipment, measuring instruments and possible antidotes. In order not to burden good relationship with n Russian President Boris Yeltsin, however, federal government decided not to make existence of Nowitschok public.

The last Soviet head of State Mikhail Gorbachev had already assured 1987 that production of C-weapons would be discontinued. In federal government, however, it was uncertain wher military apparatus, without knowledge of political leadership, did not continue to work on development of weapons of mass destruction. On behalf of Kohl, a emissary n spoke at a meeting in Moscow and stated that one knew of secretly continued warfare developments.

The defector later came to Germany on a cross-country basis and lived at least temporarily under protection of Bundeswehr. In today's federal government, efforts are underway to reconstruct process that was at that time under highest secrecy.

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