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Moscow still waiting for UK ambassador’s answers on Salisbury incident

The ministry has commented on the UK ambassador Bristow's interview to Russia’s Kommersant daily

MOSCOW, March 13. /TASS/. The Russian Foreign Ministry hopes to hear UK Ambassador to Moscow Laurie Bristow’s answers to its questions on the Salisbury incident in the near future, the ministry said on Facebook.

Bristow gave an interview to Russia’s Kommersant daily on Tuesday, expressing his opinion about the March 2018 incident in which Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned, and also about the 2006 death of former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko in London. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the ambassador accused Russia of involvement while answering the paper’s questions, but at the same time stressed that his statements would in no way affect the outcome of the ongoing investigation.

"If this is not an attempt to influence the results of the ongoing investigation through public statements, then what is?" the Russian Foreign Ministry asked rhetorically.

"We expect the UK ambassador to give clear and meaningful answers to the issues that we had specified, instead of vague speeches centering around ‘Russians did it,’" the ministry said.

On March 3, the Russian Embassy in London published on its website a report, headlined Salisbury: Questions without Answers, timed for the first anniversary of the Salisbury incident in which Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were allegedly poisoned with a nerve agent. The document contains the detailed timeline of events, including the incident itself, international reaction to it, the investigation and the diplomatic correspondence between Moscow and London.

On March 4, 2018, Sergei Skripal, a former colonel of the Russian military intelligence GRU, convicted in Russia of spying for Britain, and his daughter Yulia were affected by a Novichok class nerve agent in Salisbury, if the British version of the affair is to be believed. London later claimed that the substance had been developed in Russia and accused it of complicity. Moscow strongly dismissed all speculations on that score, saying that neither the Soviet Union, nor Russia had ever had programs for developing this class of chemicals.

British Prime Minister Theresa May on September 5, 2018, briefed the Parliament on progress in the investigation to declare that two Russians carrying passports issued in the names of Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov were the suspected attackers. British special services claimed that both were GRU agents. Then men were interviewed on the RT television channel to dismiss the speculations as preposterous.