LONDON, May 16. /TASS/. The Russian Embassy in the UK has noted a biased approach of the UK Border Force towards Russian diplomats, the embassy stated in a commentary published on Thursday, adding that there has been no improvement in the working environment of Russian diplomats in the UK.
"Despite isolated statements of the British authorities, we are not observing any qualitative improvements of the situation. Moreover, in certain aspects it is only getting worse. Recently, there has been an increase in the number of cases of biased approach of the UK Border Force officials towards Russian diplomats arriving to the UK on short-term assignments, as well as guests of the Embassy staff members," the statement informs.
The embassy noted that the actions of the UK side are "erratic", involving "selective delays of diplomats and guests of the Embassy at UK Border control with a view to collecting details on their careers and sensitive information on the operation of the Embassy." "In some cases, the Border Force officials essentially threaten with refusal of entry. Sometimes, these interviews can last for an extended period of time; there are even cases of temporary passport seizure, or denial of opportunity to call the Embassy," the statement continues.
The Russian embassy claimed that it has addressed this issue to UK officials several times. "Despite this, there have been at least 14 cases of biased approach towards MFA diplomatic staff and guests of the Embassy from the UK Border Force representatives. As a result, the Russian side reserves the right to take reciprocal measures," the Russian diplomats stressed.
The relations between Russia and the UK have deteriorated in the wake of the Salisbury incident. On March 4, 2018, ex-GRU colonel Sergei Skripal, who had been convicted in Russia of spying for Great Britain, and his daughter Yulia suffered the effects of an alleged nerve agent in the British city of Salisbury. Claiming that the substance used in the attack had been a nerve agent allegedly developed in Russia, London rushed to accuse Moscow of being involved in the incident. The Russian side flatly rejected all of the United Kingdom’s accusations, saying that a program aimed at developing such a substance had existed neither in the Soviet Union nor in Russia.