Citing threats from Russia and North Korea, the British government is to open a 48 million pound facility to conduct research on chemical weapons
The UK Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson said on Thursday that the MoD will build the facility at the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) in Porton Down.
He said: “Today I can announce that we’re building on our world-class expertise of the defence science and technology laboratory at Porton Down. We’re investing 48 million pounds in a new chemical weapons defence centre to maintain our cutting edge in chemical analysis and defence”
Press TV reports: The announcement comes amid heightened tensions between the UK and Russia over a recent nerve agent attack on Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter outside a shopping center in Salisbury.
Calling the attack “shocking and reckless,” Williamson will say that the new investment ensures “we maintain our cutting edge in chemical analysis and defense.”
“If we doubted the threat Russia poses to our citizens, we only have to look at the shocking example of their reckless attack in Salisbury,” Williamson is expected to say. “We know the chemical threat doesn’t just come from Russia but from others.”
Following the attack on Skripal, Britain tasked the DSTL in Wiltshire with analyzing the nerve agent that was used to poison the former spy. It was the same laboratory that ultimately liked the attack to Russia.
Williamson will use what he describes as a growing chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threat from some governments to announce that thousands of British troops held at high-readiness will be vaccinated against anthrax.
This allows British troops to be deployed to areas where the risk of this type of attack exists.