28 January 2020
Moscow: 12:55
London: 09:55

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695 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     687 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

22.06.2018

Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the statement of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Russia

Question: How would you comment on the statement of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg circulated by the British media concerning alleged Russia’s involvement in the Salisbury incident?

Answer: Mr Stoltenberg’s allegation that Russia “has no qualms about using military-grade nerve agents on our streets” is blatant and reckless disinformation misleading British people and the international community. If Mr Stoltenberg has any proof, he must present it immediately. Until he does so, his assertions are nothing but unsubstantiated allegations supported neither by facts nor by evidence.

He should be reminded that the inquiry into the Salisbury incident is not finished. According to Prime Minister’s National Security Adviser Sir Mark Sedwill’s speech on 1 May at the Commons Defence Committee, the British authorities were yet to establish any suspects, while, as Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dean Haydon said on 5 June, “there are still a number of lines of inquiry being progressed”. All this suggests that the British political leadership hastened to put forward charges against Russia by making serious allegations just a few days after the incident without due process of law.

It remains unclear why Mr Stoltenberg repeated the anti-Russian speculations of the British authorities, while the latter are apparently doing everything to hush up and classify the circumstances of the poisoning of the Skripals. By pressing its allies to show “solidarity” and failing to present any proof of what had occurred in Salisbury the British authorities have put their partners in a difficult situation. The only way out for them is to demand the Conservative government to apologise to Russia and to hold a transparent joint investigation.

We would like to convey the same message to GCHQ Director Jeremy Fleming, who accused Russia of “blatant disregard for the consequences of its actions” and an “attack against Sergei and Yulia Skripal” during his visit to NATO Headquarters on 19 June. Before thanking their partners for “solidarity” on Salisbury, it would be worthwhile for the UK to consider providing them with something more substantial than “plausibility”, which to date remains the only basis of the entire UK policy on the Skripals case.




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