LONDON, May 16. /TASS/. The Russian Embassy in London is gathering and analyzing information on unmotivated checks and questioning of Russian citizens in UK airports and will raise this issue at the official level if the discriminatory nature of such practices is confirmed, Russia’s UK ambassador Alexander Yakovenko has told reporters.
"Several weeks ago, we started receiving phone calls and messages from Russians arriving to the UK," he said. "On the condition of anonymity, we contacted the Russian citizens <…> and asked them to provide such information. We will analyze this data in the coming week and, if we establish that those measures are of discriminatory nature, we will naturally raise this issue at the official level."
The Russian embassy earlier warned that it "has been informed of unmotivated stops and interrogations of Russian citizens, who legally arrive to Great Britain having UK visas, by the UK Border Force and police."
The embassy added that it had no information on whether any Russians were denied entry to the country despite having a valid visa.
It also said that those measures could be related to worsening Russian-UK ties.
"After the Skripal case had been initiated, UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced tougher border control. Still, such measures look more like deliberate pressure on Russians and Russia than increased efficiency of border and customs services’ work," the embassy said.
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.