UK to invest 48 million pounds in new chemical weapons defense center

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain will invest 48 million pounds ($67 million) in a new chemical warfare defense center at its Porton Down military research laboratory, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said on Thursday.

Porton Down was the facility where British scientists identified the nerve agent used to attack Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal in the city of Salisbury. Britain has accused Moscow of being responsible for the attack, which Moscow denies.

“Today I can announce that we’re building on our world-class expertise of the defense science and technology laboratory at Porton Down. We’re investing 48 million pounds in a new chemical weapons defense center to maintain our cutting edge in chemical analysis and defense,” Williamson said in a speech.

Reporting by Estelle Shirbon; editing by Costas Pitas