MOSCOW, September 5. /TASS/. British Prime Minister Theresa May’s charges against the Main Directorate (GU, former Main Intelligence Directorate, GRU) of Russia’s General Staff over the Skripals affair are utterly wrong and illustrate well enough that the head of the British Cabinet is in a dead end, the former chief of Russia’s federal security agency FSB, member of the State Duma’s security and anti-corruption committee, Nikolai Kovalyov, told TASS on Wednesday.
Earlier, May claimed that the two Russian citizens, suspected of an attempt on the life of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, were GRU officers. She urged Britain’s allies to step up the struggle against GRU, adding that its activity allegedly threatened British subjects.
"GRU has its concrete tasks. They are identical and standard [for any military intelligence agency] around the world: identification of a military threat coming from this or that country with the aim to enable the government ward off this threat," Kovalyov said. "Assassinations or revenge against, say, traitors, by no means belong with this list. The point of departure is absolutely wrong and it is very sad some European counties and the United States have joined the affair without any arguments."
"There must be hard facts to rely on. Russia by no means benefits from the attempt on the Skripals’ lives. It has nothing to do with it. The Foreign Ministry and the country’s leadership have said this more than once," Kovalyov said. "Nothing fits in. Where are you keeping the Skripals? Let the world see them. Do they really believe that GRU is behind this assassination attempt?" he wondered.
"This is a marvelous situation," Kovalyov said. "Britain has declared Brexit, but at the same time it keeps guiding the whole of Europe and the Americans, too."
"Although formally it has nothing to do with the EU, Britain nevertheless dictates what is to be done. As a result Russian diplomats get expelled," he stated. "As a matter of fact it is determined to spearhead a crusade by Europe and the United States against Russia. Regrettably, such incidents did happen in history, but all ended in utter failure."
If the British version is to be believed, on March 4 former GRU Colonel Sergei Skripal, convicted in Russia of spying for Britain, and his daughter Yulia, were affected by a nerve gas of the Novichok class in Salisbury. The British government claimed that Russia was highly likely involved in the incident. Moscow strongly dismissed all speculations on that score, adding that programs for developing this substance had ever existed in the Soviet Union or Russia.
Britain’s military chemical laboratory at Porton down has failed to identify the origin of the substance that poisoned the Skripals.