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Kremlin: Claims that Putin ‘involved’ in Skripal case are grossly invalid and groundless

The Kremlin affirmed that President Vladimir Putin is in no way involved in the Skripal affair and stressed that such accusations do not hold any water
Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov Mikhail Metzel/TASS
Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov
© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

MOSCOW, October 15. /TASS/. The Kremlin is confident that there can be no well-grounded accusations against Russian President Vladimir Putin concerning his alleged involvement in the poisoning of the Skripals, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

"US President [Donald Trump] did not come up with any direct accusations [against the Russian leader in an interview with CBS News]," he noted. "Moreover, there can be no substantiated accusations against the Russian president."

Trump earlier told CBS television that Putin could "probably" be "involved in assassinations" and "poisonings."

The Kremlin spokesman stressed that Russia has nothing to do and can potentially have nothing to do with such accusations.

Skripal saga

According to London, former GRU Colonel Sergei Skripal, who had been convicted in Russia of spying for Great Britain and later swapped for Russian intelligence officers, and his daughter Yulia suffered the effects of an alleged 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 refuted all of the United Kingdom’s accusations, saying that neither the Soviet Union nor Russia ever had any program aimed at developing such a substance.

On September 5, British Prime Minister Theresa May informed the country’s parliament about the findings the investigators looking into the Salisbury incident had come to, asserting that two Russians, believed to be GRU agents, were suspected of conspiracy to murder the Skripals. The Metropolitan Police published the suspects’ photos, saying their names were Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.

In late September, The Telegraph claimed that "one of the trained assassins wanted for poisoning Sergei Skripal is a decorated colonel in Russian military intelligence given the country’s highest award by Vladimir Putin," adding that his real identity can be disclosed as Colonel Anatoly Vladimirovich Chepiga. However, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he had no information about any awards presented by the Russian president to a man named Anatoly Chepiga.