23 July 2018
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PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

11.04.2018

Embassy comment in relation to the inquest into the death of Alexander Perepilichny

On 10 April 2018, the inquest into the death of Alexander Perepilichny, the Russian businessman who died in 2012 near London, have resumed after a long break. It is not a coincidence that this event is synchronized with a large-scale anti-Russian provocation by the British government, baselessly accusing Russia of the "attempt on lives" of two Russian nationals: Sergei and Yulia Skripal.

The methods of engagement of British authorities in the investigation of the inquest into the death of A.Perepilichny are based on the same blunt and bad-faith approach of the British government and secret services, as we have seen in the investigations of the deaths of A.Litvinenko, B.Berezovsky, N.Glushkov and the Skripals case.

As with the mentioned high-profile cases, in 2016 the British government officially closed access to special services’ documents associated with the case, as well as all materials related to their contacts with
A.Perepilichny, thus gaining control over the ongoing investigation. Such a withdrawal of important information related to the case from the legal domain, de facto hinders an impartial investigation. Instead, groundless versions and outright misinformation are being thrown-in. Witnesses and interested parties, who are, in one way or another, connected with the British secret services, are introduced into the inquest.

Interested persons is an issue worth further details. The representatives of W.Browder’s “Hermitage Capital Management” fund, included in the investigation as an interested person, have been challenging the results of the post-mortem examinations made by the Home Office, which did not find any involvement of a third party or a foul play in A.Perepilichny’s death. They tried to discredit Mr Perepilichny’s widow (by throwing in the theory of a poisoned sorrel soup) and even the police, who were all initially interested persons in the inquest.

Moreover, precisely the representatives of Mr Browder’s fund pressed the theory of A.Perepilichny having been poisoned by Gelsemium on the basis of a new test that was conducted upon their initiative by an expert of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, which gave rise to new insinuations against Russia.

On 10 April 2018, that same expert testified in court saying that she could not confirm the presence of Gelsemium after the second test.

According to witness testimonies voiced in Court, there is documented confirmation of Mr Browder’s relation to the MI6 and the CIA. In addition, there is no doubt in his motive for misleading the investigation: William Felix Browder has been sentenced in absentia by a Russian Court for committing serious financial crimes, his culpability was fully proved. The merger of the interests of an international criminal with the interests of the British government for the sake of further escalating the anti-Russian rhetoric by means of provocations against Russian nationals who reside in the UK and are dependent on the British secret services, is nothing but deplorable.

All these circumstances around the inquest into the death of A.Perepilichny and the foot-dragging since 2012 clearly indicate that British authorities want to get the most out of this in order to promote the idea of another “Russian connection” in the case of yet another Russian citizen murdered on the British soil.

The classification (“public interest immunity”) by the British government of the materials directly related to such high-profile cases, along with flooding the courts, the public and foreign partners with false information presented as indisputable “facts”, creates legal nihilism, fake news mayhem, and compromises the work of the police and judicial authorities. It also impedes impartial investigations of deaths of our nationals (we cannot rule out a possibility of the British secret services’ hand). All this is being driven by political interests of London in an attempt to delegitimize Russia, as well as by interests of fugitive criminals living in the UK.

The British political motives are easy to predict, and the tools of the British government, which include the derailing of an impartial investigation and classification of documents, have been revealed a long time ago, and is no longer news. All this causes grave concern given yet another sequence of crimes against our fellow citizens in the UK. 




LATEST EVENTS

19.07.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning alleged identification by the Metropolitan police of suspects in the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal

Q.: How would you comment on today’s media reports claiming that the Met Police have allegedly identified two suspected perpetrators of the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury? A.: We have seen the report by the Press Association saying that investigators believe to have identified the persons who poisoned Sergei and Yulia Skripal by cross-checking CCTV recordings with lists of people who entered and left the United Kingdom around that time. The Security Minister Ben Wallace has already given assessment to this report by writing in Twitter that it “belongs in the ill informed and wild speculation folder”. In this regard, we would also like to mention the statement of the Met Police on the Salisbury poisoning published by “Daily Mail” on 17 July, according to which “the investigation into the Salisbury attack remains ongoing and we’re not prepared to discuss any lines of enquiry at this stage”.


19.07.2018 - Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova’s answers to questions by the Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency about the investigation into the Salisbury and Amesbury incidents and the murder of Nikolai Glushkov

Question: What could you say about the investigation into the incidents in Salisbury and Amesbury? Maria Zakharova: We have noticed that Britain has lately modified the tactics of covering the investigation into the Salisbury and Amesbury incidents. While earlier the London police limited themselves to general phrases accompanied by a lot of media leaks and high-level politicised statements, then now they make regular public statements, with politicians referring to the need to wait for police conclusions. Despite insufficient informative value, this creates an illusion of transparency.


18.07.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s statement of on the 4th anniversary of the MH17 plane crash in Eastern Ukraine

Q: Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt insists on Russian state responsibility for downing MH17 flight in Eastern Ukraine. How would you comment on this? A: Indeed, four years have passed since Malaysia Airlines MH17 flight crashed in Donbass, claiming the lives of 298 innocent passengers from many countries. Our thoughts are with the families and friends of all those who lost their lives. From the very first day Russia has advocated a thorough and impartial international investigation into this crash. Our country immediately offered all necessary technical and expert assistance. Instead, the Netherlands did not allow Russia to participate in the Joint Investigative Team (JIT) and opted to pursue a preselected line of investigation, almost entirely ignoring essential information that Russia was providing.


17.07.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the statement of Minister of State Alan Duncan on the “Ukrainian political prisoners”

Question: Foreign Office Minister for Europe Sir Alan Duncan has urged Russia to release the “Ukrainian political prisoners” Oleg Sentsov, Volodymyr Balukh and Emir-Huseyn Kuku. How would you comment on this? Answer: The Embassy has taken note of Sir Alan’s statement, which fails to reflect the real state of affairs. It should be reminded that Oleg Sentsov has been sentenced to 20 years in prison on grave charges of creating a terrorist group and preparing two terrorist acts.


17.07.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning The New York Times article on the Skripals case

Question: According to the New York Times, British investigators suspect “current or former agents of the GRU” of the attempted poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal. How would you comment on that? Answer: We are not surprised by the new wave of anti-Russian publications in the run-up to and on the day of the meeting between the Russian and U.S. Presidents in Helsinki. However, we are concerned by the fact that, while the British authorities keep concealing all information concerning the investigation into the Salisbury incident, the newspaper has quoted “one former US official familiar with the inquiry”. It appears that the British authorities have shared confidential and extremely sensitive information with private individuals who have no authority or grounds for access thereto. Meanwhile, the Russian side has been trying to get access to the investigation and ensure cooperation between the British authorities and Russian experts for over four months, to no avail.


16.07.2018 - Russia-US summit

President of Russia Vladimir Putin and President of the United States of America Donald Trump have met in Helsinki for their first full-scale summit meeting. Before this, Mr Putin and Mr Trump had met on the sidelines of various international events.


16.07.2018 - News conference following talks between the presidents of Russia and the United States

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, The talks with President of the United States Donald Trump were held in a candid and business-like atmosphere. I think they were quite successful and beneficial. We reviewed the current state and prospects of Russia-US relations and key international issues. It is obvious to everyone that our bilateral relations are undergoing a complicated period but there is no objective reason for these difficulties and the current tense atmosphere.


14.07.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the new invitation of the OPCW experts to the UK

Question: How would you comment on the recent statement of the FCO concerning the new invitation to the OPCW experts to visit the United Kingdom in the framework of the Amesbury incident investigation? Answer: Following the new invitation extended by the UK to the OPCW technical experts “to independently confirm the identity of the nerve agent”, which Charles Rowley and Dawn Sturgess have been exposed to, we would like remind of the fact that after the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury in March Russia proposed to the UK to use the mechanisms under Article IX, paragraph 2 of the CWC and carry out a joint investigation.


14.07.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning course of investigation of the Amesbury incident

Question: How would you comment on the recent statements that a small bottle containing nerve agent has been found in Amesbury? Answer: Unfortunately, Russia has no access to any official information concerning both the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal and other suspicious incidents in the UK, because the British side refuses to cooperate with us in any way possible. We cannot check or verify any British statements. As for this incident, we have to rely only on public statements, and we are almost sure that the British side will not be informing us directly.


11.07.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the activity of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down

Question: As early as in April the Russian Embassy requested assistance of the British side in arranging a meeting with Chief Executive of the Porton Down Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) Gary Aitkenhead and his colleagues. Have you managed to ascertain whether this secret lab had produced A-234 type agents that were allegedly used against the Skripals? Answer: Sadly, the FCO has ignored our query, which brings us to the conclusion that the British authorities wish to prevent us from communicating with experts who might have some information that is inconvenient for the Conservative government. In his interview to Sky News in April, Mr Aitkenhead himself did not deny the fact that his laboratory had produced and stockpiled nerve agents, including the so-called “novichok”. He added that they “would not be allowed to operate if we had lack of control that could result in anything leaving the four walls of our facility”.



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