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Kremlin concerned over new poisoning incident in UK

The Kremlin comments on the Amesbury poisoning

MOSCOW, July 5. /TASS/. The Kremlin has described the news of another poisoning incident in the UK as disturbing.

"This is very disturbing news. Of course, it triggers profound concern in connection with the similar incidents in the UK," Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. "We wish them [those affected] a speedy recovery."

According to Peskov, the repeated use of poisonous substances in Europe is a source of concern. "On the other hand, we have no information on what substances were actually used and how they were used, because here it is very difficult to rely on any media reports," he noted.

The Kremlin spokesman recalled that after a similar incident in Salisbury "Russia has strongly denied its possible involvement in what happened there." "Britain has failed to provide any convincing evidence to substantiate its accusations against Russia," he added. Peskov recalled that Moscow, right from the start, offered London to conduct a joint investigation into the Salisbury incident, but received no reply.

The Kremlin knows nothing about any of London’s appeals to Moscow over the Amesbury poisoning, he said.

"I know nothing about any appeal [from the UK being conveyed to Russia over the incident]," the Kremlin spokesman said.

After a similar incident in Salisbury, Russia proposed carrying out a joint investigation with the UK but got no response, Peskov said.

"Unfortunately, these appeals found no reciprocity," the Kremlin spokesman said.

As the UK police reported, late on June 30, a 44-year-old woman and a 45-year-old man were found unconscious in their home in Amesbury. They were hospitalized in Salisbury, located some 13 kilometers from Amesbury, where they are currently staying in a critical condition.

Scotland Yard's Counter-Terrorism Chief Neil Basu said in a statement on Wednesday that the two British citizens in Amesbury, England, were exposed to Novichok, the same nerve agent that was allegedly used to poison former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in March.

Former Colonel of Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate Sergei Skripal, who had been sentenced in Russia for spying for the UK, and his daughter Yulia were poisoned with a nerve agent on March 4 and found unconscious on a bench in Salisbury, England. Claiming that the substance used in the attack had been a Novichok-class nerve agent developed in the Soviet Union, London rushed to accuse Russia of being involved in the incident. Moscow 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.