Sergei Skripal's Salisbury house up for grabs

Authorities of the British town of Salisbury announced that they were going to put up for sale the house of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal, in which he was allegedly poisoned with his daughter Yulia. Philip Whitehead, the head of the Wiltshire Council, told the BBC that the property would be available for purchase after renovations are completed.

According to him, the Salisbury authorities consulted local residents and agreed to renovate the house and put it up for sale on a market-share purchase basis.

The renovation of the four-bedroom house, which is deemed completely safe, will take several months, he said. In the near future, the Wiltshire Council, where Salisbury is located, will formally acquire the house, but the price of the deal remains unknown.

The home will be offered to local residents in accordance with the council's housing policy, the council said in a statement. The house will be allowed to use for residence purposes only, and it will not be allowed to sublease it so that no one could derive profit from its history.

It is worthy of note that in August 2011 the house was purchased for 260,000 pounds ($360,000).

In the wake of Salisbury and Amesbury incidents, the local authorities cleaned up both the house itself and more than a dozen other facilities in and around the city. The operation called MORLOP involved from 600 to 800 military specialists in chemical, biological and radiation protection. It took the specialists 13,000 hours to complete their works.

On March 4, 2018, 66-year-old former GRU officer Sergei Skripal, who was previously convicted in Russia for spying for the UK, and his 33-year-old daughter Yulia were exposed to a military-grade nerve agent in Salisbury, UK. London stated that the Skripals were poisoned with a chemical of the Novichok family, which was developed in Russia.

On March 14, Great Britain and the United States at a meeting of the UN Security Council accused the Russian Federation of violating the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. The Russian side strongly denied all accusations and pointed out that there were no programs for the development of Novichok either in the USSR or in Russia. In 2017, Russia reported the destruction of its entire arsenal of chemical weapons under the control of the OPCW.