16 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

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”.


09.07.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the death of Dawn Sturgess

Q.: How would you comment on the information concerning the death of the British citizen Dawn Sturgess, who, according to the British authorities, was poisoned by the same nerve agent that had been used against Sergei and Yulia Skripal? A.: We would like to express our sincere condolences to relatives and friends of Dawn Sturgess following her tragic death. We hope that the circumstances of her poisoning will be investigated in good faith and in accordance with high international standards, and the perpetrators will be brought to justice. As it stands now, the police investigation of the Skripals case is limited by political frameworks imposed by the current government.


06.07.2018 - From the Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, Moscow, July 5, 2018

Media coverage of the World Cup in Russia The 2018 FIFA World Cup continues to delight with its exciting football contests. Experts and fans are unanimous is their opinion that the matches have been spectacular. There’s no need to even mention the entertainment aspect of the tournament, as fans are clearly having the time of their lives when there are no matches to watch. According to our guests’ posts on social media, the atmosphere is fantastic not only in Moscow, but other host cities as well. We can see that the enthusiasm of the fans is rubbing off on the media, which is great. Indeed, we focus on these matters, because there was so much misinformation. This is not surprising, as it is difficult to make up stories now, because everyone can see everything with their own eyes, and the mudslinging directed at our country before the World Cup doesn’t work anymore.


05.07.2018 - Embassy press officer’s comment on the statement by Ben Wallace

Q: UK Minister of State for Security at the Home Office Ben Wallace stated that he is “waiting for the phone call from the Russian state” to get explanations of the “use of chemical weapons” in Salisbury. What should he expect? A: The Russian Ambassador to the UK is ready to meet Mr Wallace – we have requested meetings at the Home Office and Metropolitan Police several times, in relation to the Skripals case, as well as the murder of the Russian citizen Nikolay Glushkov. In both cases the FCO had suggested the Embassy should contact the police directly. Yet our letters to Scotland Yard met a resounding silence. If the British law enforcement authorities wish to end this silence and finally engaged in a substantial dialogue with Russia as envisaged in the international agreements signed by UK, we will be happy to have the opportunity to ask the many outstanding questions. We await Mr Wallace’s specific proposals as to when he will be available to meet.


05.07.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a question on the "Russian disinformation campaign" in the context of the Salisbury and Amesbury incidents

Q: Home secretary Sajid Javid has stated in Parliament that the Russian media are already producing multiple explanations of the incident in Amesbury and that a new disinformation campaign should be expected from the Kremlin. How could you comment on this? A: It is not the first time that British officials are speculating on “disinformation” and “numerous versions” produced by the Russian “pro-government media” regarding the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury and now of Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley in Amesbury. The Foreign Office has even provided us with the list of 28 “official Russian versions” of the Salisbury incident, among which, for example, they cited the following: “the UK poisoned Ivan the Terrible” and “the operation in Eastern Ghouta is aimed at freeing civilians from terrorists”.


05.07.2018 - Embassy press officer on UK reaction to the Amesbury incident

Q: Can you comment on statements by Home Secretary Sajid Javid and Security Minister Ben Wallace that Russia refuses to cooperate over the Salisbury poisoning and that after the Amesbury incident the Russian state must “come and tell us what happened in Salisbury to keep people safe”? A: All allegations of Russia’s involvement in the incidents in Salisbury and Amesbury are merely speculative and are not based on objective data of the investigation. As for the cooperation and information sharing, Russia has from the very outset proposed a joint investigation of the attempted murder of two Russian nationals. The proposal remains on the table. Unfortunately, the British investigation remains totally non-transparent. Our numerous questions on this matter remain unanswered. The UK authorities avoid any contact with the Russian side on this, or any other issues of concern. Moreover, London continues to blatantly violate its international obligations by refusing consular access to the Russian citizens, who remain isolated and are highly likely under duress by secrets service.


04.07.2018 - Answer to media question regarding the invitation of British dignitaries to the FIFA World Cup

Q: According to The Guardian, “Russia has sent out a fresh invitation to Theresa May” to visit the World Cup despite the UK “ministerial boycott”. Can you confirm this? A: No personal invitations for British political figures have been sent out and, consequently, none has been revoked. As we know, the decision not to attend the tournament on official level came from London. Moreover, there were calls in Britain to boycott the World Cup, and the media painted a bleak picture on Russia in the run-up to the event. FIFA World Cup a festival of sports for the whole world. Despite what The Guardian claims, we are not “trying to tempt” anyone in particular, but we’ll be glad to let everybody support their team. This also refers to Britain’s representatives – if UK dignitaries decide to come, they’ll encounter the same hospitality as the England players and supporters.


04.07.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning Russia’s requests for legal assistance in the two criminal cases related to the murder of Nikolay Glushkov and the attempted murder of Yulia Skripal

Q: The Embassy informed about two weeks ago that the British authorities had not provided any answers to the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation’s requests for legal assistance in the two criminal cases related to the murder of the Russian citizen Nikolay Glushkov and the attempted murder of the Russian citizen Yulia Skripal. Do you have any update? A: Unfortunately, we have not yet received any reply from the British side on this matter. The Embassy has recently forwarded another Note Verbale to the FCO to remind that in accordance with the 1959 European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters the Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation has already sent three requests for legal assistance in the two criminal cases, namely those related to the murder of Nikolay Glushkov and the attempted murder of Yulia Skripal. As suggested by the FCO, we have contacted the Metropolitan Police and the Home Office for any updates on our requests, with no results so far.



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