MOSCOW, March 6. /TASS/. London’s reluctance to provide consular access to the Russian citizens who were the victims of the Salisbury incident two years ago is an overt violation of international legal obligations stemming from the consular convention, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters at a press briefing on Friday.
"Over the past two years, we have never given up our insistent demands regarding arranging a meeting with the Russian citizens who suffered during the incident," she noted. "Diplomatic notes were sent, statements were made, the issue was raised during diplomatic contacts, with no response. Britain’s authorities have ignored Russia’s demands for no good reason and neglected their international legal obligations, which arise from the 1965 bilateral consular convention. We believe that Britain’s approach is out of sync with international law and any law in general."
Zakharova drew attention to the fact that the UK refuses to discuss the issue in earnest and conduct a joint investigation into the Salisbury incident.
London continues to use the Skripal case as a tool to exert pressure on Russia and fuel anti-Russian sentiment in British society, she went on to say.
"We strongly condemn London’s attempts to hold Moscow responsible for what happened in Salisbury and insist on a professional and impartial investigation into the incident. We reaffirm our readiness for substantive cooperation between the law enforcement agencies and relevant experts," the diplomat pointed out.
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. Russia has flatly rejected these allegations pointing out that neither the Soviet Union nor Russia had any programs to develop that substance.