Attack victim Sergei Skripal gave briefings to European intelligence in the past years, reports say. The former Russian spy who moved to Britain was targeted by a nerve agent and taken to hospital in Salisbury 10 weeks ago.
The Guardian reports that Skripal was a regular lecturer in the US and Europe for at least a decade, speaking at universities and military academies and to other groups interested in intelligence.
Sources close to Whitehall said the revelation, which could shed light on the motive for the assassination attempt, neither explained nor justified the nerve agent attack.
A former senior officer in the GRU – Russia’s military intelligence agency – Skripal could still hold valuable details about the inner workings in Moscow.
In 2004 he was accused of spying for the British and jailed. He was later exchanged in a spy swap in 2010 and settled in the UK. Reports seem to suggest that the MI6 facilitated Skripal’s visits across Europe.
Mr Skripal, 66, was found fighting for his life along with his daughter Yulia, 33, in Salisbury after having been exposed to novichok – a deadly soviet-era nerve agent. Britain has pointed its fingers directly at the Kremlin, suggesting a covert operation. The Russian embassy in London vehemently denies the accusations.
Sergei Skripal is no longer in critical condition while Yulia has been discharged from hospital.
Sources: The Independent, The Guardian