MOSCOW, March 24. /TASS/. The poisoning of former Russian military intelligence (GRU) Colonel Sergei Skripal and his daughter, which took place in the British city of Salisbury, is a fake story being used for specific purposes, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov told the Rossiya 24 TV channel.
"The chemical weapons incident, which occurred in the city of Salisbury… is nothing but a fake story, which, I think, is being used for specific purposes," the envoy said, adding that one could only feel sorry for those suffering from the poisoning.
Chizhov also said that the British media’s information campaign over the incident was going downhill. "British newspapers have been showing more interest in US tariffs recently," he noted.
On March 4, Sergei Skripal, who had been convicted in Russia of spying for Great Britain and exchanged for Russian intelligence officers, and his daughter Yulia suffered the effects of a nerve agent in the British city of Salisbury.
London expelled 23 Russian diplomats and announced other restrictive measures against Moscow. In retaliation to the UK’s steps, 23 British diplomats were expelled, the British consulate general in the city of St. Petersburg was closed and the British Council had to shut down its operations in Russia. At the same time, Moscow pointed out that further measures could be taken "should there be any more hostile actions against Russia.".