SVETLOGORSK /Kaliningrad region/, August 15. /TASS/. Moscow will continue demanding that facts concerning the poisonings in Salisbury and Amesbury be presented until London and Washington admit that both the incidents are just a huge provocation, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told participants in the Balartek international educational youth forum taking place in Russia’s Kaliningrad region.
"We will give clear and professional responses to provocations such as those that took place in Salisbury and Amesbury, we will present facts demanding information in return," Zakharova stressed. "We will work to bring these things to a conclusion until the United States and Great Britain admit that it is a huge provocation," she added.
According to Zakharova, it was not the first time that Washington and London staged such a provocation together. "This story mostly consists of provocative steps," she said, adding that "we don’t know what was the reason behind this chain of events because it all has been classified."
"However, the fact that the blame is being put on Russia leaves no room for doubt," the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman noted. "Great Britain and the United States have been using scam techniques to carry out a large-scale disinformation campaign. It is unacceptable and I would like to hope that our country will never stoop so low as to start inventing provocations," Zakharova concluded.
According to London, former Russian military intelligence (GRU) Colonel Sergei Skripal, who had been convicted in Russia of spying for Great Britain and later swapped for Russian intelligence officers, and his daughter Yulia suffered the effects of an alleged nerve agent in the British city of Salisbury on March 4. 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. Chief Executive of the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) at Porton Down Gary Aitkenhead said later that British experts had been unable to identify the origin of the nerve agent used in the attack on the Skripals.
Russia’s Investigative Committee launched a criminal case over the incident on March 16.
On June 30, 44-year-old Dawn Sturgess and 45-year-old Charles Rowley were hospitalized in critical condition in the British town of Amesbury. The Metropolitan Police went on to claim that the two had been exposed to Novichok, the same nerve agent that was allegedly used in the Skripal poisoning. After being mysteriously exposed to a nerve agent and falling into a coma, Sturgess died on July 8 while Rowley managed to recover.