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US can still prevent fallout from ‘fake story’ about British spy, says Russian embassy

The Russian embassy says the US media has recently unleashed a new vehement anti-Russian crusade
Police officers stand near to the area where Sergei Skripal and his daughter were found AP Photo/Frank Augstein
Police officers stand near to the area where Sergei Skripal and his daughter were found
© AP Photo/Frank Augstein

WASHINGTON, March 26. /TASS/. The Trump administration can still prevent negative repercussions that the alleged Salisbury poisoning case of Russian ex-Colonel Sergei Skripal may have concerning the ties between Washington and Moscow, the Russian Embassy in the US said on Sunday.

"The White House may still be able to prevent any negative consequences of this fake story for the very little positive stuff left in Russian-American relations. Ties between Russia and the US are more comprehensive, and strategic stability throughout the globe depends on them. They should not be held hostage by such clearly orchestrated scenarios," the Russian diplomatic mission said.

"The US media has recently unleashed a new vehement anti-Russian crusade, evidently prompted by Russophobic circles within the Washington establishment," the comment says. "It asserts without presenting a single fact that Moscow is behind the poisoning of former British agent Sergei Skripal (sentenced to 13 years in Moscow, served five years in prison and has lived in the UK since 2010) and his daughter Yulia. Before completing the analyses, which should be done by the relevant international organization, the OPCW, the entire blame has been pinned on us."

"Few have raised any red flags about this absurd situation here. Moreover, there are proposals to punish Moscow," the embassy noted. "It is essential to investigate this tragedy in a calm and professional way now and formulate joint measures to prevent such events in the future."

"We see a unique chance for the administration in Washington as Downing Street’s main ally in this situation. These days, the junior partner needs counselling and assistance from overseas based on wise restraint more than ever," the comment says. "We repeatedly confirmed that any hostile rhetoric would be followed by tit-for-tat measures. Any advice like ‘punishing Russia’ is a motion to inflict the same damage on itself at the very least," the embassy noted.

On March 4, former Russian intelligence officer and convicted British spy Sergei Skripal, and his daughter Yulia were allegedly poisoned with a nerve agent, according to British investigators. Later, London stated that this agent was designed in Russia and blamed Moscow for being behind the incident based on this assumption. The Russian side refuted all accusations, saying that neither the Soviet Union, nor Russia had any programs for developing this agent. London expelled 23 Russian diplomats without providing any evidence and stated that other anti-Russian measures would follow, after which Moscow took retaliatory measures by ejecting the same number of the British embassy staff members and ordering the closure of the UK’s consulate general in St. Petersburg and terminating the activity of the British Council in Russia.