LONDON, August 6. /TASS/. Russia’s embassy in the United Kingdom has warned against taking on trust The Guardian’s allegations that the British government is looking at asking Russia to extradite two Russians suspected of involvement in the nerve agent attack in Salisbury.
"The embassy has received no official requests on this matter. More to it, we have to say it once again that there have been nearly a hundred of such leaks citing anonymous sources since the Salisbury incident. That is why it is not worth relying on such reports. We have no confidence in such unverified media fakes," the embassy said on Monday.
"Until we have official information about the Salisbury incident, we consider this publication as another fake geared to fill the information pause and lay down a smoke-screen on the situation concerning London’s failure to fulfill its international liabilities in the context of the investigation into the attempt on the lives of two Russian citizens in Salisbury," the embassy said.
The Russian embassy drew attention to the fact that The Guardian draws parallels between the request that was confirmed by no one and similar requests from London on the "Litvinenko case." "Notably, important details are carefully omitted. Using the fact that under the Russian constitution our citizens cannot be extradited to third countries, the British authorities categorically refused to address their questions to Russian nationals in line with the current bilateral and multilateral mechanisms of legal assistance, presenting the situation in a way that the Russian side is covering the criminals. It looks like a political shell game," the embassy said.
"The Russian side keeps on insisting the British authorities give an answer to the key question about what really happened in Salisbury," the embassy said, adding that the British authorities have been ignoring its questions. "A criminal case over an attempt on Yulia Skripal’s life was opened in Russia. Russia’s law enforcement agencies, which have sent two requests for legal assistance on that case, keep on reiterating their readiness for cooperation with the British side. Official London has been dodging any contacts," the embassy stressed.
A spokesman for the UK Home Office told TASS the Home Office knows about this article but refrained from comment.
Amesbury and Salisbury incidents
Dawn Sturgess, 44, and Charles Rowley, 45, were hospitalized in critical condition in the British town of Amesbury, Wiltshire County On June 30. Sturgess died in hospital on July 8, while Rowley, who had been in critical condition, was discharged from the hospital on July 20.
The Metropolitan Police claimed later that the two had been exposed to Novichok, the same nerve agent that was allegedly used in the March attack on former Russian military intelligence (GRU) Colonel Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in neighboring Salisbury.
Sergei Skripal, 66, who had been convicted in Russia for spying for the UK but later swapped for Russian intelligence officers, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were found unconscious on a bench near the Maltings shopping center in Salisbury, England on March 4. Police said they were exposed to a nerve agent.
Later on, London claimed that the Novichok-class toxin had been allegedly developed in Russia. The UK rushed to accuse Russia of being involved, while failing to furnish any evidence. Moscow refuted the accusations stating that neither the Soviet Union nor Russia had ever done research on that toxic chemical.