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Germany obtained sample of Novichok in the 1990s, reports suggest

German papers and broadcasters said the West’s knowledge of the substance stems largely from a sample obtained by Germany’s BND agency in the 1990s.

Germany’s foreign intelligence service secured a sample of the Soviet-developed nerve agent Novichok in the 1990s and passed on its knowledge to partners including Britain and the US, according to German media reports.

Britain says an attack earlier this year on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia was carried out using Novichok, and blames Russia.

German newspapers Sueddeutsche Zeitung and Die Zeit and broadcasters WDR and NDR said in a joint report on Thursday that the West’s knowledge of the substance stems largely from a sample obtained by Germany’s BND agency in the 1990s.

The report, which cited unidentified people involved in the operation, said the BND obtained the sample from a Russian scientist and Germany then had it analysed at a Swedish lab.

The BND refused to comment.

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