MOSCOW, March 31. /TASS/. Russia’s Embassy to Paris submitted a note to France’s Foreign Ministry containing a list of ten questions on the Skripal case, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.
"The Embassy of the Russian Federation to Paris has submitted to the French Foreign Ministry a note with a list of questions for the French side over the Skripal case fabricated against Russia," the statement says.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry asked to explain what France had to do with the investigation. Also, Russia demanded explanations from French experts "based on what attributes they made a conclusion about the Novichok-class military-grade nerve agent and how they found out the ‘Russian origin’ of the chemical used in Salisbury."
In addition, Moscow asked what knowledge Paris experts had gained in the field of military-related chemicals or their equivalents and whether France had control samples of the Novichok nerve agent.
Earlier, Moscow had confronted London with a similar list of questions. The note included France’s engagement in the investigation. In particular, Russia’s Foreign Ministry wonders whether the United Kingdom notified the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) about France’s joining the investigation and whether results of the French probe have been submitted to the OPCW Technical Secretariat.
Besides, Russia demands answers what France has to do with the incident involving the two Russian citizens in the UK and what rules of UK procedural legislation allow engaging a foreign state in a national inquiry.
Skripal poisoning case
On March 4, former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal, who was earlier sentenced in Russia for spying for the UK, and his daughter Yulia 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.
Without providing any proof, London expelled 23 Russian diplomats and suspended all planned high-level bilateral contacts. In response, Moscow expelled the equal number of UK diplomats. In addition, Britain’s consulate in St. Petersburg was ordered to be closed and the British Council’s operations in Russia were terminated.