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G7 ministers have no grounds to accuse Russia of involvement in Skripal case — diplomat

April 17, 20:17 UTC+3

Foreign ministers of the Group of Seven nations, who met in Canada’s Ottawa, made a joint statement on Monday evening calling on Russia to disclose its alleged Novichok nerve gas program

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Russian foreign ministry

Russian foreign ministry

© Roman Kanashuk/TASS

MOSCOW, April 17. /TASS/. Foreign ministers of the Group of Seven nations have absolutely no grounds to accuse Russia of being behind the poisoning of former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the United Kingdom, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in a commentary posted on the Russian foreign ministry’s website on Tuesday.

"The Group of Seven ministers have once again repeated their invented and absolutely ungrounded accusations in respect of Russia over Sergei Skripal’s and his daughter Yulia’s poisoning in Great Britain. Using spurious pretexts, they keep on demanding we reveal at the OPCW (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) all data about the Novichok nerve gas program our country allegedly had," he noted.

"Generally, nothing new. The Western colleagues, as they have got used to, are twisting the facts" and keep on repeating carbon-copy statements over and over again, he said, adding that all of their arguments could be "ultimately reduced to the notorious ‘highly likely.’"

"We call on the Group of Seven nations to find strength to get over their time-serving political ambitions and refrain from actions that can undermine the spirit and the letter of the CWC," he stressed. "We hope the colleagues will take note of it ahead of the April 18 special session of the OPCW Executive Secretariat and discussion of the Skripal case at the United Nations Security Council on the same day."

Foreign ministers of the Group of Seven nations, who met in Canada’s Ottawa, made a joint statement on Monday evening calling on Russia to disclose its alleged Novichok nerve gas program and immediately answer all the questions concerning the Salisbury incident.

On March 4, former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal, 66, who had been earlier sentenced in Russia for spying for the UK, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were found unconscious on a bench near the Maltings shopping center in Salisbury, UK. Police said they had been exposed to a nerve agent.

Later, London claimed that the toxin of Novichok-class had been allegedly developed in Russia. With that, the UK rushed to accuse Russia of being involved, while failing to produce any evidence. Moscow refuted the accusations that it had participated in the incident and points out that neither the Soviet Union nor Russia have ever done research into that toxic chemical."The Group of Seven ministers have once again repeated their invented and absolutely ungrounded accusations in respect of Russia over Sergei Skripal’s and his daughter Yulia’s poisoning in Great Britain. Using spurious pretexts, they keep on demanding we reveal at the OPCW (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) all data about the Novichok nerve gas program our country allegedly had," he noted.

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