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686 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     678 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

04.09.2019

Embassy comment on the situation concerning the Salisbury incident with Russian nationals Sergei and Yulia Skripal

18 months have now passed since the mysterious incident in Salisbury. Despite our numerous appeals to the British side for transparency of the investigation, access to the affected Russian nationals, Sergei and Yulia Skripal, and substantive cooperation to clarify the circumstances surrounding the incident, no clear answer has been received. More than 80 Notes Verbales sent to the Foreign Office and the request of the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation for legal assistance have been ignored so far.

We would like to recall just a few of critical points that make the political version voiced right after the incident untrustworthy.

The British authorities have never explained how it was possible for the Skripals to lose consciousness simultaneously several hours after coming into contact with the nerve agent, despite them being persons of different age, gender and body constitution. It has never been explained why not a single person providing first aid and further medical assistance to the Skripals ever developed any signs or symptoms of nerve agent poisoning, even as the nature of the poisoning was not known for at least two days. Claims that another, unnamed, police officer was affected by a nerve agent appeared only 17 months after the incident.

While some movements of the Skripals on 4 March 2018 are published with extreme accuracy, others are not. There has also been no attempt to explain the fact of absence of more precise CCTV data on their movements.

There is equally no information (either official or in the media) on any witnesses who may have seen the Skripals or the main suspects at any particular point around the time when the poisoning could theoretically take place. This is particularly striking with regard to the two suspects, as two strangers in a calm residential area on a Sunday would have certainly been seen and noted by locals.

 

There has never been an attempt by the investigation to confirm or deny the account of the prime suspects on their movements in Salisbury. Notably, they have asserted to have sat in the park, visited a café and the cathedral throughout their two-hour visit to Salisbury on 4 March 2018. They would have done this precisely when, according to the police, they would be delivering the nerve agent to Mr Skripal’s door. It is hard to see why checking this assertion and informing the public accordingly would constitute a problem.

It was revealed in January 2019 that the first person to attend to the Skripals after they lost consciousness was Colonel Alison McCourt, Chief Nursing Office of the Army, and her daugher Abigail. There has been no attempt to explain why this extraordinary coincidence had been kept secret for the previous ten months.

Another coincidence to which no satisfactory explanation has been given is the presence, at Salisbury Hospital at the time of the Skripals’ being admitted, of staff trained to deal with nerve agent poisonings.

The investigation has no answers to basic questions regarding the perfume bottle allegedly containing the nerve agent discovered in Charlie Rowley’s flat in Amesbury, such as where and under what circumstances Mr Rowley had found this bottle and where it had been between the two incidents. The absence of evidence that this bottle is in no way related to the incident in Salisbury is so obvious that even the investigation does not accuse the prime suspects of any wrongdoing in Amesbury, despite enormous political pressure.

Obviously, more questions exist, but the British side has not provided answer to a single one yet. In order to move forward, the government must take responsible steps. We urge the British side to follow their international obligations and norms of diplomatic communication.

 

4 September 2019, 12:00




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