MOSCOW, March 27. /TASS/. Moscow has received no reply from London and Washington to its request to provide printed materials on the incident with the alleged poisoning of former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, the UK, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Tuesday.
US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman said on Monday that the British side had circulated a certain handout on Skripal’s poisoning at a briefing for foreign diplomats in Moscow.
"These printed materials, a certain document, a certain list of topics or maybe rather London’s explanations of what happened in Salisbury have never reached the media. Journalists tried to obtain this document. We also tried and sent a corresponding inquiries to our British and American colleagues, and did it publicly to receive zero information in reply," Zakharova said in an interview with the NTV television channel.
On March 4, former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal, 66, who had been convicted in Russia of spying for Great Britain and exchanged for Russian intelligence officers, and his 33-year-old daughter Yulia were found unconscious on a bench near the Maltings shopping center in Salisbury. Police said they had allegedly been exposed to a nerve agent. Both are in the hospital in a critical condition.
London immediately accused Russia of being involved, but failed to produce any evidence. UK Prime Minister Theresa May blamed Russia for "unlawful use of force" against her country. She identified the alleged substance used in the attack as the Novichok nerve agent, developed in the former Soviet Union. The UK expelled 23 Russian diplomats and announced other restrictive measures against Moscow.
Russia has flatly rejected these allegations pointing out that neither the Soviet Union nor Russia had any programs to develop that substance. In response, Moscow expelled the same number of British diplomats from Russia and ordering to close the British Consulate-General in St. Petersburg and shut down the British Council’s offices in Russia.
In a show of solidarity with the UK, a number of European countries, including France, Germany, Poland, the Baltic states, and Ukraine, as well as the United States and Canada announced on Monday their decision to expel about 100 Russian diplomats.
The Russian foreign ministry said in turn this unfriendly step would not go unanswered.