MOSCOW, April 13. /TASS/. Russian intelligence agencies have been spying on former GRU colonel Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia for at least five years, British press agency Press Association reported on Twitter Friday, citing National Security Adviser Sir Mark Sedwill’s letter to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
On March 4, 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 incident had been a nerve agent allegedly developed in Russia, London rushed to accuse Moscow of being involved in the case without presenting any evidence. 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.
On Wednesday, during the UN Security Council meeting, Russia's UN envoy Vasily Nebenzya noted that Skripal, who had been convicted of spying, served his sentence and was pardoned. Moreover, he "did not pose any threat" to Russia. "However, he is the perfect candidate for the role of a victim that could be used to justify any mind-boggling lies, dirt and smear campaigns hurled at Russia," the envoy to the UN stressed. According to him, when spinning the Skripal saga, British officials "are deliberately seeking to slander Russia by any means necessary.".