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Finding truth on Skripal case is last thing London wants, says Russian embassy

The embassy stressed that no evidence had been given but for allegations of a Russian trace in the Salisbury incident

WASHINGTON, March 15. /TASS/. The last thing London wants is to find truth about the poisoning of former Russian military intelligence (GRU) Colonel Sergei Skripal, the Russian embassy in Washington said on Wednesday.

"By taking a decision to expel 23 Russian diplomats under an invented pretext, London demonstrated that finding the truth is the last thing it wants as it is being guided by absolutely different motives," the embassy said. "It employs its sharply honed propaganda war methods to exert strong information pressure on uninformed and susceptive public."

The embassy stressed that no evidence had been given but for allegations of a Russian trace in the Salisbury incident. "Russia has nothing to do with the Salisbury incident and is ready to conduct a joint investigation," Russian diplomats emphasized. "It is unwise to speak with Russia in a language of ultimatums. No one has ever managed to achieve any result via threats to our country."

According to the embassy, the expulsion of Russian diplomats from the United Kingdom reveals "impotence and the lack of argument." "Britain’s efforts to make up another anti-Russian ‘front’ of its allies look openly cynical amidst disregard of all rules and procedures, including those envisaged by the Chemical Weapons Convention," the document reads. "London will have to answer when the hidden motives and details of this British provocation surface."

UK Prime Minister Theresa May on March 14 accused Russia of "an unlawful use of force" against her country following an incident involving former GRU military intelligence Colonel Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. She said that 23 Russian diplomats would be expelled from the country within one week and that British officials would be absent from the FIFA World Cup finals.

Along with this, May claimed that Moscow might have lost control of the reserves of the nerve agent that had been used for an attack against the Skripals. She said they had been poisoned with a nerve agent of the Novichok group of chemicals, developed in the Soviet Union.

In the meantime, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Russia had nothing to do with the poisoning of Skripal and his daughter and that London was trying to mislead the world community. Moscow urged London for related evidence and for providing them in keeping with the official procedures.

On March 4, Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious on a bench near the Maltings shopping center in Salisbury after being exposed to a nerve agent. Both are in hospital in critical condition.

In 2004, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) arrested Skripal and later on, he was sentenced to 13 years in prison for high treason. In 2010, the former colonel was handed over to the US as part of a swap involving espionage suspects. Later in the same year, Skripal arrived in the UK and settled there.