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Russian diplomat slams Western calls for cooperation over Skripal case as absurd

The Russian Foreign Ministry even had to publish its requests addressed to the British side, Maria Zakharova said

MOSCOW, September 7. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has dismissed as absurd the recent calls upon Russia coming from a number of Western countries for cooperation with Britain over the Skripal affair.

"Yesterday’s statement by a number of countries at the UN Security Council’s meeting in which they urge Russia to start interaction with the British investigation looked totally absurd. Absolutely, it’s a looking glass world. It begins to look like sheer nonsense. We even had to publish our requests addressed to the British side. True, this does not quite match the diplomatic rules, but the things that London has been doing do not agree with any practice at all," Zakharova told a news briefing on Friday.

On September 6, Germany, Canada, the United States and France issued a joint statement to demand that Russia should begin to cooperate in the investigation of the Salisbury incident. In the meantime, Moscow declared its readiness to interact with London over the Skripal affair from the outset.

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday briefed the British parliament on some conclusions of the probe into the Salisbury incident to declare that two Russians whom the British special services regarded as GRU agents were suspected of an attempt on the Skripals’ lives. According to the investigators, the two men were moving about the country with passports issued in the names of Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.

If the British version of the incident is to be believed, former GRU Colonel Sergei Skripal, convicted in Russia of spying for Britain, and his daughter Yulia were affected by a Novichok class nerve agent in Salisbury. London argued that Moscow was highly likely involved in the incident. Russia strongly dismissed all speculations on that score, adding that programs for making such a substance had never existed in the Soviet Union or Russia.