4 June 2020
Moscow: 15:38
London: 13:38

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823 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     815 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

02.05.2018

Embassy press officer replies to a media question regarding new statements by National Security Adviser Sir Mark Sedwill on the Skripals poisoning

Q: How can you comment on the remarks by Sir Mark Sedwill at the House of Commons Defence Committee on 1 May, when he called the British reaction to the Salisbury incident an example of the new “fusion doctrine” in action?

A: We have noted two main elements in Sir Mark’s statements. First, he admitted that no suspects have been identitified to date in the Skripals investigation. Yet Russia was accused of this crime almost immediately. Second, the UK has no evidence of Russia being involved into the poisoning, or having developed chemical poisons in violation of its international obligations (and no such evidence can possibly exist; it is worth reminding that Russia has clearly stated in a diplomatic note that it has nothing to do with the poisoning).

Mr Sedwill again portrays his letter to NATO Secretary General as a manifestation of unprecedented transparency. In reality, the letter contains nothing but publicly known facts and, on the other hand, unverifiable assertions with reference to secret services.

In other words, Sir Mark has again confirmed that the most serious accusations put forward against Russia as well as the ensuing far-reaching foreign policy decisions accompanied by mobilisation of the whole Western bloc, were based on pure assumptions.

If this is what the “fusion doctrine” is about, then we are convinced that this doctrine runs contrary to the genuine interests of the British people. Instead of strengthening national security, it bears the riks of hasty and ill-conceived decisions damaging the quality of UK’s relations with its international partners and undermining the country’s credibility. This is also true about the essence of the response to “Russia’s behaviour” that London has chosen, namely to expel diplomats (and to inevitably face reciprocal expulsions of British personnel), the very people whose job is to improve relations. Brexit requires exactly the opposite strategies.

Meanwhile, Sir Mark’s attempts to provide a doctrinal basis for the inappropriate moves by the Government cannot negate the fact that Russia, in violation of consular conventions, has been denied access to its nationals, Sergei and Yulia Skripal. We have no information on their whereabouts and cannot verify the British statements regarding the health and wishes. Equally, there is no information available on the course of the investigation, while the numerous media leaks turn out to be false, time and again. The situation regarding the murder of another Russian citizen, Nikolay Glushkov, is hardly any better.

We reiterate our demand to the British Government to ensure compliance with their international legal obligations and the universal rules of international relations, and to urgently provide the Russian side and the public with meaningful proof that Sergei and Yulia Skripal are not forcibly isolated. For our part, we reiterate our readiness, expressed more than once, to cooperate with Britain in investigating the Salisbury incident within the framework of existing international mechanisms. We expect London to show the same attitude with regard to the legal assistance requests sent by Russian Prosecutor General’s Office in the framework of the criminal case opened in Russia with respect to the attempt on life of our citizens.

 




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Dear Editor, I feel compelled to express disagreement with the Financial Times coverage of Russia’s efforts to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. Judging by your reports, Russia’s response has been to manipulate with figures at home and to spread disinformation abroad, with the government acting inefficiently and doctors having inadequate protection. This distorted picture requires a refutation. Even by most pessimistic accounts, Russia’s performance in terms of healthcare system capacity and death rate is among the best of all major countries.


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