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Moscow urges London to quit stoking provocations over Salisbury, Amesbury incidents

Moscow is ready to work with London to investigate the incidents in Salisbury and Amesbury, says the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman

MOSCOW, August 23. /TASS/. Moscow is ready for a joint work with London to investigate the incidents in Salisbury and Amesbury and calls on the British side to abandon the escalation of tensions, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at Thursday’s briefing.

"We hope that London will be sensible enough to abandon the provocative escalation of these incidents and the groundless and false accusations which the British side hastily presented without waiting for the results of the investigation. So, we still firmly insist on an independent, objective and transparent investigation into the incidents in Salisbury and Amesbury," she said.

"We confirm our readiness for joint work on these issues and expect a corresponding reaction on the request of legal help sent by the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office to London on the criminal case launched by the Russian Investigative Committee on March 16 this year," Zakharova added. "I’d like to reiterate that the issue concerns the criminal case over Yulia Skripal’s alleged attempted murder, that was committed in a socially dangerous way."

The Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman called outrageous the absence of information about the Skripals’ state and location and the refusal of the British authorities to provide access to them for the Russian embassy staff. "We regard these actions as illegal," she stated.

On March 4, former Russian intelligence officer and convicted British spy Sergei Skripal, and his daughter Yulia were allegedly poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent, according to British investigators. Later, London stated that this agent was designed in Russia and blamed Moscow for being behind the incident based on this assumption. The Russian side refuted all accusations, saying that neither the Soviet Union, nor Russia had any programs for developing this agent. Experts from a British military chemical laboratory failed to identify the agent which poisoned the Skripals.

On June 30, British national Dawn Sturgess and her partner Charlie Rowley were hospitalized in critical condition in the city of Amesbury. Later the Scotland Yard officer in charge of the investigation stated that they had been poisoned by Novichok.