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Moscow says London’s refusal to cooperate on Skripal case reveals desire to hide truth

The foreign ministry spokeswoman pointed to the refusal of the British side to conduct a transparent investigation

MOSCOW, October 2. /TASS/. London is obviously seeking to hide the truth about the Skripal poisoning case and the fact that the UK Home Office has turned down legal assistance requests from the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office on this case only prove that, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Tuesday.

A spokesman for the Russian embassy in London said on September 26 that after numerous reminders, on 25 September, the embassy received a reply from the Home Office informing of a refusal to fulfil the requests for legal assistance from the Office of the Russian Prosecutor General concerning the probe into the Skripal case.

"The official London’s position taken at the highest political level, as was pointed out, only prove that the UK authorities are seeking to hide the truth, to avoid an objective and transparent investigation into the Skripal incident so that real causes of what happened in Salisbury were never established," Zakharova stressed.

According to the Russian diplomat, London motivated its refusal by an obviously invented pretext that handling of these requests can do harm to sovereignty, security, public order or other major interests of the United Kingdom, which, in her words, has been deliberately ignoring Russia’s invitations for cooperation. "It is yet another evidence that London is pursuing provocative anti-Russian goals in its propaganda campaign over the so-called Skripal case," she said.

"Sharing no official information about the incident with us but keeping supplying the media with fake stories and ungrounded accusations, the UK government uses the so-called Skripal case to continue its confrontational policy of building up pressure on our country, creating a negative image and countering Russia’s policy on the global arena. These were the real goals of British political strategists from the very beginning," she emphasized.

Former Russian military intelligence (GRU) Colonel Sergei Skripal, 66, who had been convicted in Russia of spying for Great Britain and later swapped for Russian intelligence officers, and his daughter Yulia, 33, suffered the effects of a 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, saying that neither the Soviet Union nor Russia ever had any program aimed at developing such an agent. Britain’s military chemical laboratory at Porton Down has failed to establish the origin of the substance that poisoned the Skripals.