MOSCOW, September 5. /TASS/. The BBC has deliberately distorted the gist of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s comment on alleged suspects in the Salisbury poisoning incident, the Foreign Ministry’s department of information and the press told TASS on Wednesday.
"BBC correspondent Steve Rosenberg in his September 5 live report distorted the gist of Russia’s position by keeping quiet, possibly on purpose, that part of the Foreign Ministry’s commentary which quoted Russia’s call addressed to London for cooperation between law enforcement agencies. We regard this as an example of fake news," the Foreign Ministry said.
Earlier, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, speaking about the British authorities’ statement concerning alleged suspects in the Salisbury incident, remarked that both names were unknown in Russia. Once again she urged London to establish cooperation between law enforcement agencies over the case.
Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service has declared it is ready to charge Russian citizens Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov with an attempt on the lives of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. Scotland Yard has published their photographs. British police officials say the suspects’ names are possibly fictitious.
Salisbury and Amesbury incidents
Britain claims that Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were affected by a nerve gas of the Novichok class in Salisbury on March 4. The British government claimed that Russia was highly likely involved in this incident. Moscow strongly dismissed all speculations on that score, saying that neither the Soviet Union nor Russia had ever had programs for making such agents. Britain’s military chemical laboratory at Porton Down has failed to establish the origin of the substance that poisoned the Skripals.
Two British nationals - Dawn Sturgess and her partner Charles Rawley, suffering from heroin addiction - were taken to hospital in Amesbury in critical condition on June 30. The Scotland Yard official in charge of the investigation later speculated that both had been poisoned by Novichok. On July 8, it was announced that Sturgess had died in hospital. On July 20, Rawley was discharged from hospital only to be admitted again due to vision problems.
On Wednesday, it was announced that the British police were pushing ahead with the investigation into Salisbury and Amesbury poisonings as one case.