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Plotters of Skripal poisoning will be held accountable, vows Russian diplomat

On March 4, former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned with a nerve agent on March 4 and found unconscious on a bench in Salisbury

MOSCOW, March 21. /TASS/. Those guilty in the so-called Skripal poisoning case will be held accountable, Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry Department for Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Vladimir Yermakov said at a briefing for foreign ambassadors on Wednesday.

"We are keeping a close eye on the developments in the Skripal case. We are recording absolutely everything. We are convinced that eventually, both the plotters and participants in this provocation will definitely be held accountable," Yermakov pledged.

“Yet, Russia is accusing nobody,” he stressed.

"We are asking [countries’] capitals not to distort what we actually say. Yes, we have referred to the potential of chemical industries in the Czech Republic, Sweden and some other states, but simply as an example of how scientific research is highly developed around the world and how crucial it is to trace dual use potentials," the diplomat clarified.

He asked not to view those remarks "as some claims against some partners."

"In this context, Russia is not accusing anyone," the diplomat said. "In fact, we are not in the habit of blaming whoever without evidence."

Skripal poisoning case

On March 4, former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious on a bench near the Maltings shopping center in Salisbury. Police said they had been exposed to a nerve agent. Both are in the hospital in critical condition.

The UK accused Russia of being involved, but failed to produce any evidence. UK Prime Minister Theresa May on March 14 accused Russia of "unlawful use of force" against her country. She said that 23 Russian diplomats would be expelled from the country within one week and that all planned high-level bilateral contacts had been suspended.

Russia has rejected all of the United Kingdom’s accusations. On March 17, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that in response to the UK’s steps, 23 British diplomats would be expelled within a week. In addition, Britain’s consulate in St. Petersburg would be closed and the British Council’s operations in Russia would be terminated. Furthermore, Moscow pointed out that further measures could be taken "should there be any more hostile actions against Russia.".