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Russia’s Foreign Ministry ready to continue dialogue with other states over Skripal case

It is the only way the sides can achieve positive results, a Russian diplomat pointed out

MOSCOW, March 21. /TASS/. Russia’s Foreign Ministry is ready to carry on talks with other nations through diplomatic channels concerning the so-called Skripal poisoning case so that there will be no questions left unanswered, Director of the Foreign Ministry Department for Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Vladimir Yermakov said at a briefing for foreign ambassadors on Wednesday.

"Through common diplomatic channels, we will be ready to continue communication with all of you since it is crucial that there will be no questions left unanswered about these serious issues," he told the ambassadors.

The diplomat noted that each of them had been given a backgrounder summarizing the Skripal case.

"If we do pursue a goal of resolving the existing problems, we should disclose and consider them, and look for solutions," Yermakov emphasized. "It is the only way we can achieve any positive [results]."

The diplomat pointed out that the UK had not showeda any willingness to carry on dialogue.

"I think time will pass and our British counterparts will get back to their top-notch diplomatic professionalism and world-class expertise," the diplomat said.

"Honestly speaking, I am shocked by what we had to hear from their [British] so-called politicians. It is very hard to call those people politicians," he noted. "I am ashamed of what those people are disseminating from London. I am ashamed of those people - British diplomats and experts, who we have been constantly communicating with [us] for many decades."

On March 4, former Russian military intelligence officer Sergey Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious on a bench outside a shopping center in Salisbury. Police say they had been exposed to a nerve agent. Both are currently in the hospital in critical condition. UK Prime Minister Theresa May accused Russia of "unlawful use of force" against her country. As a result, 23 Russian diplomats were expelled from the country, while all planned high-level bilateral contacts have been suspended.

In response, Russia said that 23 British diplomats would be expelled as a tit-for-tat measure. Moreover, the UK consulate in St. Petersburg will be closed and the British Council operations in Russia will be terminated.