LONDON, May 25. /TASS/. The UK must apologize to the Russian side for ‘hollow accusations’ in the poisoning of former Russian military intelligence (GRU) Colonel Sergei Skripal and his daughter, says a commentary of Russian Embassy’s press officer, which TASS received on Friday.
"Time has come for British authorities to apologize to Russia for the hollow accusations accompanied by an unprecedented anti-Russian campaign, to give answers to all the questions and requests officially sent to the British side on this matter, to engage with Russian law enforcement agencies that have opened the criminal case regarding the attempted murder of Yulia Skripal, and to stop isolating the two Russian citizens," the press officer’s comment on the Skripal case said.
According to the diplomat, "The British political leadership has put forward serious accusations against Russia, but has not yet provided any evidence in support of its position."
"Speaking on 1 May in the Commons Defence Committee National Security Advisor Sir Mark Sedwill admitted that no suspects had been identified in the Skripals’ investigation. It is now clear from official statements and media reports that the chemical substance A-234 under British classification was produced by a dozen Western countries. Life itself shows that British accusations are groundless, while intelligence that they are allegedly based on is unverifiable," he reiterated.
On March 4, 66-year-old Sergei Skripal, who had been convicted in Russia of spying for Great Britain and later swapped for Russian intelligence officers, and his 33-year-old 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 episode.
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. Then tensions escalated when London expelled 23 Russian diplomats without providing any evidence and said other measures against Moscow would be taken. In response, Moscow took tit-for-tat steps by expelling the same number of British diplomats from Russia and ordering the closure of the British Consulate-General in St. Petersburg, in addition to shutting down the British Council’s offices in Russia.