27 july / 2018

Facts vs Myths in Skripals case

On the Incident in Salisbury

After four and a half months since the Salisbury incident the investigation has not been concluded, and the London police and special services do not even have a list of suspects. First, it was confirmed by the UK National Security Adviser Sir Mark Sedwill in the Defence Committee of the British Parliament on May 1, 2018, then - on June 5, 2018 by Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the London Police Mr. Dean Haydon, who announced that "the investigation still follows a number of lines of inquiry".
Despite this fact, the British leadership rushed to make accusatory claims against Russia just within a few days since the incident without waiting for any results of the investigation.
The British authorities continue to use allied "solidarity" as a cover, and as a motive they keep promoting a thesis that "there is no other plausible explanation, other than the Russian state is responsible", which does not stand up to criticism. This thesis was assumed as a basis for the G7 statement that followed the summit in Canada. It is surprising that such serious accusations are made simply based on the "plausibility", without any concrete evidence.
In violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963 and Bilateral Consular Convention of 1965 Russia is still being denied access to its citizens, as well as to the investigation of their attempted murder.
On March 16, 2018 the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation opened a criminal case over an attempted murder of a Russian citizen Yulia Skripal that was carried out in Great Britain in a manner dangerous to the public for an offence under part 3, article 30; item "e", paragraph 2, article 105 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. In April, 2018 the Office of the Prosecutor-General of Russia sent a request to the British counterparts in order to provide legal assistance in accordance with the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters of 1959.
Nonetheless, the British side keeps avoiding communication with its Russian partners, leaving cooperation proposals on the Salisbury incident investigation and requests on legal assistance without a response. Moreover, the British side bluntly states that London sees no point in collaborating in the investigation of the attempted murder of the Skripals.
Russia would appreciate any information that could expose the culprits behind the attempted murder of our citizens and that could help getting to the substance on the Salisbury incident.
While understanding the importance of substantive and responsible interaction to establish the truth, the Russian side remains open to joint work and full-fledged contacts with British law enforcement agencies. We call on London to show responsible approach and openness regarding the investigation.
We would like to note that the provocative path that London has chosen is not only counterproductive for bilateral relations between Russia and Great Britain, but also negatively impacts effectiveness of international cooperation in resolving pressing international issues.
At the same time we notice that the incidents with the use of, as the British assert, nerve agents occur on a regular basis near the chemical laboratory Porton Down - a secret facility of UK ministry of defense, where "military grade" chemical programs have been conducted for more than a decade. It is debatable whether these coincidences accidental or not.