LONDON, July 1. /TASS/. BBC’s allegations about involvement of Russian national Denis Sergeyev in the Salisbury incident are not backed by any documents and for this reason cannot be trusted, the Russian embassy to the United Kingdom said on Monday.
"As previously, this publication is based on reports from the untrustworthy "investigative" group Bellingcat and information provided by anonymous sources to the journalist Mark Urban, which are impossible to verify. This, predictably, raises a number of questions," the embassy said. "First of all, the so-called "investigators", while describing the movements and phone records of the Russian citizen whom they named as "operational commander" of the Salisbury "attack", have not made a single attempt to support their suggestions with something that would in the least look like original documents. The public is invited to simply trust their word."
The Russian diplomats expressed bafflement that "the very fact that a certain person visited London in the beginning of March is presented as a conclusive evidence of his connection to the incident."
According to the Russian embassy, BBC’s publication has shed no extra light on the Salisbury incident. Instead, it was obviously geared to "remind the public of the alleged ‘Russian involvement,’ diverting attention from the obvious questions that the British authorities can’t answer."
"It is worth noting that the Metropolitan Police have refused to comment on this publication, as it relates to an "ongoing investigation" in which "a number of lines of inquiry" are being pursued. In this light, we invite readers to decide for themselves on the relevance of the fresh British demands to Russia to accept its responsibility and bring "the suspects" to justice," the embassy stressed.
BBC reported on Friday that Denis Sergeyev, a Russian national, had allegedly exercised operational control of the actions of those suspected in the poisoning attack on former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. According to BBC, Sergeyev, a major general, serves at the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Russian General Staff. BBC’s correspondent Mark Urban cited independent sources as saying that Sergeyev had allegedly maintained contact with senior officers in Moscow while being in London.
Skripal poisoning incident
If the British version of the affair is to be believed 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 a 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 rejected all of the United Kingdom’s accusations, saying that neither the Soviet Union nor Russia ever had any program aimed at developing such an agent. Notably, Britain’s military chemical laboratory at Porton Down near Salisbury it failed to trace the origin of the substance that poisoned Sergei and Yulia Skripals.