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Diplomat warns 'Skripal saga' will be brought to logical conclusion

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, the Russian diplomatic service cannot receive answers to "the simplest questions"
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova  Vladimir Gerdo/TASS
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova
© Vladimir Gerdo/TASS

MOSCOW, March 4. /TASS/. Russia will not put the story involving the poisoning of former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia on the back burner, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in an interview with the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily published on Monday.

She pointed to the absurdity of Britain’s attempts to conceal the details of the Skripals’ poisoning, stressing that Russian diplomats cannot receive answers to "the simplest questions." "The absurdity is the absence of the chronology of events of that day or those days, what time and what happened, and who was where," the diplomat said.

Zakharova warned that Moscow would do its utmost to get information on what happened to the Skripals. "If someone in the UK, Washington or Brussels believes that Russia will put the issue on the back burner, they are grossly mistaken. We are polite and patient people. The combination of these two factors can be fatal for some skeptics. I believe this story will be brought to its logical conclusion."

The diplomat also raised the issue of impunity of those who were convicted by Russian courts and who are currently in the UK. "Over the past decade, dozens of requests to extradite those people who were convicted by Russian courts (and previously accused of illegal financial or economic activities) have been forwarded to Britain. <…> Most of these requests have remained unanswered. Britain has created comfortable conditions for people who violate laws in their own countries (not only in Russia), take dirty money [out of the country] and make it clean in London and its environs. However, in those cases, the British government for some reason does not impose sanctions on itself for encouraging dirty financial schemes, money and bank accounts," Zakharova stressed.

Salisbury poisoning saga

On March 4, 2018, former Russian military intelligence Colonel Sergei Skripal, who had been convicted in Russia of spying for Great Britain and was later swapped for Russian intelligence officers, and his daughter Yulia, were found unconscious on a bench near the Maltings shopping center in Salisbury, the UK. Police said they had allegedly been exposed to a nerve agent.

London immediately accused Russia of being involved, but failed to furnish any evidence. British Prime Minister Theresa May rushed to blame Russia for "unlawful use of force" against her country. She identified the alleged substance used in the attack as the so-called Novichok nerve agent, allegedly developed in the former Soviet Union. Russia has flatly rejected these allegations pointing out that neither the Soviet Union nor Russia had any programs to develop that substance.