All news

Russian embassy urges UK government to declassify Skripal case papers

The press secretary of the embassy dismissed the British claim that Russia had produced ‘forty fictitious narratives’ regarding the Salisbury attack as a fake in its own right

LONDON, September 7. /TASS/. Granting Moscow access to the papers of the Skripal poisoning case mean the best way to lift the rumors of all sorts around the Salisbury incident, the press secretary of the Russian Embassy in the UK told reporters on Friday.

He dismissed the British claim that Russia had produced ‘forty fictitious narratives’ regarding the Salisbury attack as a fake in its own right.

"These reports are themselves fictitious," the press secretary indicated. "As we have said before, Russia does not, and cannot, have an official version of the incident for the simple reason of having no access to any data on which that version might be based.

"Russian discussions over this issue are going on in a UK-imposed information vacuum, filled with endless leaks in British media which turn out to be false time and again," he said. "One may recall how many times it was announced that suspects had been identified [each time with different names and in varying numbers], or how many ways of executing the attack have been discussed."

He indicated that, given this kind of situation, it is only natural for the Russian journalists and experts to discuss various scenarios in a bid to get to truth.

The press secretary recalled that the Foreign Office had provided the Embassy in May with a list of the alleged ‘different explanations Russia has offered’.

"Back then, 28 had been ‘identified’ and numbered," he said. "They included a broad range of ideas, including ‘The UK poisoned Ivan the Terrible’ and ‘The operation in Eastern Ghouta is aimed at freeing civilians from militants and terrorists’. Further comments are hardly required."

"The best way to put an end to speculations is to allow Russia access to the case file, so as to enable Russian investigators and experts to form their own opinion on what happened, based on objective data, and to provide genuine help to the British investigation," the press secretary said.

Prime Minister Theresa May told British parliament on Wednesday about the secret services’ conclusions regarding investigation of the March 4, 2018, alleged poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury. The conclusion suggested that they had become targets of a special operation by agents of the Russian military intelligence service GRU.

May claimed the operation "was almost certainly also approved outside […] at a senior level of the Russian state".

Scotland Yard released a package of photos supposedly showing the two Russians who had poisoned the Skripals. The official story made public by the British authorities suggests the two men entered the country 48 hours before the poisoning. They held official Russian passports issued in the names of Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.

The Russian Foreign Ministry’s official spokesperson said in the wake of the British government allegations the names of the two men did not ring a bell to the Russian authorities.

The UK government claims Sergei and Yulia Skripal survived exposure to a nerve agent from the class of agents tentatively codenamed Novichok [a novice or a new arrival, depending on the context]. The incident occurred in Salisbury on March 4, 2018.

The British authorities came up with the almost instantaneous allegations that Russia ‘highly likely’ stood behind the poisoning.

Moscow strongly denies any assertions regarding the development and production of Novichok class agents in the former USSR or in the Russian Federation.

Experts from the UK defense science and technology laboratory at Porton Down have been unable to identify the origins of the substance Sergei and Yulia Skripal were exposed to.