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Moscow seeking truth in Skripal case no less than London - OPCW envoy

March 16, 0:16 UTC+3 THE HAGUE

According to the interlocutor of the agency, the problem is that the UK "is not willing to substantiate accusations against Russia with at least some facts"

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THE HAGUE, March 15. /TASS/. Russia is no less than the UK interested in establishing the truth in the Solisbury poisoning, also given the fact that Yulia Skripal is a Russian national, Russia’s Ambassador to the Netherlands Alexander Shulgin, told TASS on Thursday.

"We are no less, and maybe even more than Britons interested in establishing the truth, in seeing the light shed on the Salisbury tragedy," said Shulgin, who is also Russia’s Permanent Representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). "However, it seems that the prospect of a substantive conversation with the Russian side does not suit our British colleagues, with their senior partners actively assenting from across," he added.

The problem is that the UK "is not willing to substantiate accusations against Russia with at least some facts". "We have also warned them that we are ready to cooperate, but on the basis of concrete facts, materials of the investigation they carry out, as well as with access to the substance which they say was used in Salisbury," Shulgin went on.

"But if they furnish no facts, the Russian side "will take it as a premise that London has nothing to present," he added. "We have also warned the British people that against this background they will have to be responsible for their lie," Shulgin added.

He said that Russia’s demands that the UK substantiate its accusations come also due to the fact that Yulia Skripal poisoned alongside her father, a former Russian military intelligence colonel, is a Russian national and lives in Moscow. "She was attacked on the territory of the Kingdom, and as she is a Russian national, Russia, in particular the Russian Embassy in London, cannot stand apart".

On March 4, ex-intelligence officer Sergey Skripal aged 66, and his daughter Yulia, aged 33, came into contact with a nerve agent and were found unconscious on a bench in The Maltings shopping center in Salisbury. Both of them have been hospitalized and are presently in critical condition. On March 14, British Prime Minister Theresa May accused Russia of illegal use of force against her country, claiming that Moscow is behind the poisoning of a former colonel of Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate Sergey Skripal and his daughter Yulia. In light of this, the UK leader stated that 23 Russian diplomats would be expelled and some other restrictive measures would be introduced. Russian authorities have vehemently opposed these statements and vow that London’s moves won’t be left unanswered.

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