27 October 2020
Moscow: 18:24
London: 15:24

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968 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     960 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities

PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

27.03.2018

Embassy Press Officer answers questions on statements by Prime Minister Theresa May

Q: Could you comment on yesterday’s statement that the Prime Minister made in the House of Commons, namely that British authorities are “quite clear that Russia was responsible” for the Salisbury poisoning? Is this a hardening of the British position in comparison to her statement of 14 March, according to which it was “highly likely” that Russia was responsible?

A: We have taken note of Prime Minister’s statement. Nuances may change, but the most important thing remains the same. Even if Mrs May said that she was absolutely sure that Russia was responsible for the incident in Salisbury, she would have to present all evidence to Russia, the international community and the British public. This is the opinion of almost 160 countries which are not members of the Western bloc. It is obvious that no one in the wider world would take British words for granted.

Q: The Prime Minister also said that she had identified 21 versions of the Salisbury incident put forward by Russia. What is your comment to that?

A: As one would expect, the topic is widely discussed in Russia, including on TV and in printed media. In the absence of any picture of the events coming from the UK police, and given that Britain is refusing to provide samples and to cooperate with Russia, including within the OPCW, Russian experts are at a loss.

A further discussion was provoked by the interview by Porton Down Chief Executive Gary Aitkenhead who indirectly confirmed that the secret lab possesses the poisonous agent A-234 and the antidotes that were, admittedly, administered to the Skripals and Sgt Bailey.

In these circumstances, it is only natural that various scenarios are being analysed. There may be more than 21 of them. By the way, this only confirms the openness of the Russian society and the independence of Russian media, which Prime Minister May wrongly confuses with the Russian state. Given the lack of official information, every Russian, just like every Briton, is entitled to their own version of events.

Let’s also not forget that at least 5 different versions of the poisoning have been “leaked” by the police to British media: the Skripals were either poisoned in a pub, or in a restaurant, or in their car, or by putting the chemical into Ms Skripal’s suitcase, or by smearing their door handle. To see Russia being accused of spreading false rumours in this context is rather surprising.

As regards the official Russian attitude, it has been voiced by representatives of the Kremlin and the Foreign Ministry, including the aide-memoire on technical aspects of the case that was circulated to ambassadors in Moscow and in London.

It is worth adding that many theories also surround the death of another Russian national, Nikolay Glushkov. Here too, Britain refuses to fulfil its international obligations and does not provide us with any information.

These cases raise the question, why is the UK so keen to keep the relevant information secret. Are the authorities again following the script of classifying the circumstances of murders of Russian nationals within British territory?




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