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Russian embassy demands from UK’s Foreign Office information about Skripals

The Russian embassy recalled that it had "repeatedly contacted the British authorities, demanding appropriate explanations and consular access to Russian citizens"

LONDON, September 2. /TASS/. The Russian Embassy in London has demanded from the British Foreign Office information concerning the health and whereabouts of Sergey Skripal and Yulia Skripal.

"We state with bewilderment that for the past four and a half years Russia’ has remained in the dark regarding the fate of two of its citizens - Sergey Skripal and Yulia Skripal, who found themselves at the epicenter of a high-profile incident in the English city of Salisbury in March 2018. Up to this day there has been no official information about the state of their health, legal status, or at least whereabouts," the embassy said in statement on Friday. "On September 1, we once again officially contacted the UK Foreign Office in this connection. We expect a proper response from the British Foreign Office in accordance with diplomatic canons."

The Russian embassy recalled that it had "repeatedly contacted the British authorities, demanding appropriate explanations and consular access to Russian citizens."

"We offered to participate in establishing the circumstances of the incident, because Russian citizens were involved. We requested, within the framework of generally recognized international legal procedures, assistance in relation to a criminal case launched in Russia, as well as at least preliminary conclusions based on the results of the British investigation. There has been no meaningful reply to our queries," the statement reads.

The Russian embassy stressed that instead of making a constructive approach "the British authorities, the media and pseudo-experts have been spreading politicized accusations and wild guesses."

"We cannot interpret this kind of approach in any way other than evidence of London’s wish to hide the truth about what happened and prevent the disclosure of its true causes, although we believe that ordinary Britons are no less interested in knowing them," the statement reads.

"For our part, we reaffirm our repeatedly expressed interest in an impartial investigation of the events of 2018, reliable confirmation of the safety and well-being of Sergey Skripal and Yulia Skripal, and consular access to Russian citizens. We will continue to exert the appropriate efforts to this end. We proceed from the assumption that ignoring the questions raised, when citizens of another state are involved, is unacceptable," the Russian embassy concluded.

Salisbury incident

According to the British side’s version of the incident, on March 4, 2018, former GRU Colonel Sergey Skripal, who had been convicted in Russia for spying for Britain, and his daughter Yulia were exposed to the Novichok nerve agent in Salisbury. London later alleged that this substance had been developed in Russia and accused Moscow of complicity. Russia firmly dismissed all speculations on this score. Specialists at the laboratory in Porton Down said they were unable to establish the origin of the substance which, presumably, poisoned the Skripals.

On September 5, 2018, the then British prime minister, Theresa May, briefed parliament on the findings of the investigation. She said that two Russians with passports issued in the names of Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov were suspects in the attempt on the Skripals’ lives. The British intelligence services consider both as "GRU agents." Both men agreed to grant an interview to the RT television channel, in which they denied these charges. Later, Scotland Yard said another man, Denis Sergeyev, allegedly a "GRU agent", too, was also charged in the Skripal case.