Ex-spy poisoning: Russia dismisses UK’s accusations

Moscow: Russia on Friday dismissed claims by the British officials regarding the incidence of chemical attack in Salisbury and warned the latter to resort to spreading hysteria.

Russian ambassador Alexander Shulgin at the 87th session of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Executive Council called the allegations of a chemical attack levied by the British authorities as ‘unfounded’ and ‘absolutely unacceptable’.

“Our British colleagues should recall that Russia and the United Kingdom are members of the OPCW which is one of the most successful and effective disarmament and non-proliferation mechanisms. We call upon them to abandon the language of ultimatums and threats and return to the legal framework of the chemical convention, which makes it possible to resolve this kind of situation”, Shulgin stated at the OPCW session.

British Prime Minister Theresa May on 14 March issued a statement to “punish” Russia under its false pretext to allegedly involve the UK in the case of poisoning Sergey Skripal and his daughter. She said it was “highly likely” Russia was to blame for the attack.

Shulgin retorted to May’s statement by saying, “Any threat to take punitive measures against Russia will meet with a response. The British side should be aware of that”.

Shulgin further termed these allegations as unprecedented, flagrant provocation undermining the foundations of a normal dialogue to take place between Russia and UK.

Shulgin also asked the UK to follow legal procedures stated in paragraph 2 of Article 9 of Chemical Weapons Convention and officially contact the former in case of any concerns in relation to the case of poisoning.

The UK on Wednesday expelled 23 Russian diplomats in connection with the issue.

He further mentioned of UK Ambassador Peter Wilson’s statement which suggested that UK does not have any concrete reason to suspect the UK in the case as discussed above.

Shulgin requested for a time frame of 10 days to respond to the allegations levied by the UK as authorised by the CWC convention.

He also asked the UK to provide the data and material evidence related to the accused that was used by Britain to form allegations regarding the attack.

He said, ” London has nothing substantial to show, and all its loud accusations are nothing but fiction and another instance of the dirty information war being waged on Russia. Sooner or later, they will have to be held accountable for their lies”.

Shulgin further sought the support of OPCW Technical Secretariat to conduct an independent laboratory analysis of the available samples that allegedly show traces of nerve agents in Salisbury.

Retired military intelligence officer Skripal, 66, and his daughter, Yulia, 33, were found slumped on a bench in Salisbury city center on March 4.

White House Press secretary Sarah Sanders earlier in a statement to the ABC on Friday said to agree with UK that Russia was behind the nerve agent attack and is working with allies “”to ensure that this kind of abhorrent attack does not happen again”.

The UK ambassador to Russia, Laurie Bristow on Tuesday was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry, over the nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy, Sergei Skripal, in the UK last week.

Earlier on Monday, Russian ambassador to the UK Alexander Yakovenko was summoned to the UK Foreign Office in London in the wake of the investigation into the possible poisoning of Skripa. (ANI)