Lavrov Refutes Accusation of Russia Behind Former Spy’s Poisoning
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Russia had nothing to do with Sergey Skripal’s poisoning, Lavrov explained. No evidence or reason suggest it.
He demanded Britain comply with Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons provisions, requiring Russia be provided with samples of the nerve agent, allegedly poisoning Skripal.
“As soon as the rumors, fed by the British leadership, about the fact that the substance produced in Russia was involved in the poisoning of Skripal appeared, we immediately requested access to this substance so that our experts could analyze it in accordance with the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons,” Lavrov stressed.
Russia’s request for access to information related to Britain’s investigation of the incident was denied.
Claiming Moscow was “highly likely” responsible for Skripal’s poisoning despite no evidence proving it is unacceptable.
A Russian Foreign Ministry press release said the following:
“On March 13, Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Russia Laurence Bristow was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry, where First Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov strongly protested the evidence-free accusations by the UK authorities of Russia’s alleged involvement in the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.”
“It was stated that the actions of the UK authorities are a clear provocation and that the Russian Federation was not involved in the incident that took place in Salisbury on March 4, 2018.”
“From the Russian side, it was emphasized that Moscow will not respond to London’s ultimatum until it receives samples of the chemical substance to which the UK investigators are referring and until the UK demonstrates compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) that stipulates a joint investigation into the incident, for which Moscow is ready.”
“Without that, there can be no sense in any statements from London. The incident appears to be yet another crooked attempt by the UK authorities to discredit Russia.”
“Any threat to take ‘punitive’ measures against Russia will meet with a response. The British side should be aware of that.”
Lavrov insists accusations of CW use be handled through proper OPCW channels, both countries members of the organization.
Under its rules, Britain can request Russia respond to Skripal’s poisoning accusation within 10 days.
If not forthcoming, or if information supplied is unsatisfactory, it can file an official complaint with the OPCW.
Moscow is entitled to receive information Britain has on the incident, including how its investigation is being conducted.
On Wednesday, Britain’s National Security Council will meet. Punitive measures against Russia will be discussed.
Bilateral relations already are dismal. May and other UK hardliners seem bent on destroying them altogether.
Moscow will surely respond tit-for-tat in response to any irresponsible actions taken against its government.
Extreme US hostility toward Russia under Obama, inherited by Trump, near-unanimously supported by Congress and media scoundrels, spread like a virulent virus abroad, infecting Britain most of all.
Its majority hardliners are allied with their US counterparts, waging economic and political war on Russia, a reckless agenda risking direct confrontation.
Note: Before Trump’s announced appointment of Mike Pompeo as new secretary of state designate, current incumbent being replaced Rex Tillerson shamefully said the nerve agent allegedly poisoning Skripal “clearly came from Russia,” adding it’ll have consequences.
Trump said he’ll wait to “get the facts straight (before) condemn(ing) Russia or whoever…might be” responsible.
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