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British government classifies all circumstances of Skripal case, says Russian embassy

More than nine months have passed since the incident involving Russian citizens Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury

LONDON, December 7. /TASS/. The British government thoroughly classifies all circumstances of the poisoning of former GRU Colonel Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, persistently denying any interactions with the Russian side, the Russian Embassy in the UK said on Friday.

"More than nine months have passed since the incident involving Russian citizens Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury. The British authorities continue to stubbornly reject any interactions with the Russian side, without providing or requesting information via official channels; they violate their commitments under the five most crucial international conventions, and thoroughly classify all the circumstances of the case. No one has seen the Skripal alive for a long time, and we don’t know for sure where they are and how it is going with them," reads the statement

The Russian mission pointed out that Moscow "still expects an official report on the progress of investigation from the British side."

"We still have questions about the investigation, which is not being carried out in a transparent way just like before. The British authorities have accused Russia of having committed a grave crime, so it is them who bear the burden of providing proof and assuming responsibility for the devastating damage caused to our bilateral relations. Unfortunately, the fundamentals of inter-state ties are crumbling in favor of the narrow domestic political interests of the British government with provisions of international law being deliberately ignored," it added.

Skripal saga

On March 4, Sergei Skripal, a retired Russian military intelligence officer, 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. Claiming that the substance used in the attack had been a so-called Novichok-class nerve agent developed in the Soviet Union, London rushed to accuse Russia of being involved in the incident. Moscow rejected all the accusations, saying that neither the Soviet Union nor Russia ever had a program aimed at developing such a substance.

On September 5, British Prime Minister Theresa May informed the UK parliament about the conclusions that the investigators looking into the Salisbury incident had come to, saying that two Russians, believed to be GRU agents, were suspected of conspiring to murder the Skripals. According to May, the assassination attempt was approved at "a senior level of the Russian state." Later, the Metropolitan Police published photos of the individuals they labelled as ‘the suspects’, saying their names were Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.