MOSCOW, March 4. /TASS/. The British authorities have made it clear they will never allow Russian diplomats to meet with former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, who suffered the effects of a nerve agent a year ago, Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom Alexander Yakovenko told Russia’s Channel One on Monday.
"We got no response," he said, commenting on London’s reaction to the Russian embassy’s requests concerning the Skripals’ condition, the last of which had been sent a few weeks ago. "However, I have had meetings at the Foreign Office, I have met with well-known people responsible for security matters and they made it clear unofficially that we are never going to see the Skripals," the ambassador said.
He believes that the investigation into the Salisbury incident will be classified and after a while "they will say that Russia did not make it possible to discuss the issue at the expert level." "Although I must point out that the British did not send any requests for legal assistance," Yakovenko noted, adding that the United Kingdom was not interested in contacting any Russian representatives on the matter.
At the same time, the Russian ambassador said that Moscow would "maintain political pressure" on the British authorities in order to find out what had actually happened in Salisbury. Yakovenko was also confident that the number of "attacks on Russia" would increase, as well as pressure from the British government.
According to London, 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 an alleged nerve agent in the British city of Salisbury on March 4, 2018. 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 a substance.
Chief Executive of the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) at Porton Down Gary Aitkenhead said later that British experts had been unable to identify the origin of the nerve agent used in the attack on the Skripals.