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Russian envoy blasts London’s ploy to unnerve Poland with ‘toxic agent’ hysteria

The diplomat also homed in on London’s campaign to link the Salisbury incident to a host of alleged "illegal actions by the Kremlin"

MOSCOW, March 28. /TASS/. Russian Ambassador to Poland Sergei Andreyev published an article in Rzechpospolita daily that was posted on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s website on Wednesday castigating the ‘inadmissible’ remarks by UK Ambassador to Poland Jonathan Knott, who alleged that Moscow might use toxic agents in Poland next time.

The Russian diplomat recalled that his British counterpart published an article in that newspaper on March 22. "In connection with the theories laid out in this article, I state that Russia has nothing to do with the attempt on the life of [former Russian military intelligence Colonel] Sergei Skripal and [his daughter] Yulia in Salisbury, the UK, on March 4," Andreyev stressed. "It is really unacceptable and inappropriate for Mr. Ambassador to intimidate the Polish public by saying that Russia may use toxic agents on Polish soil next time."

"However, all that is hardly surprising, considering that UK Foreign Secretary [Boris Johnson], in his Russia-bashing tirade, stooped so low as to draw disgusting parallels between the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia and the 1936 Olympic Games in Hitler’s Germany," the Russian ambassador noted.

"These are the times we live in; these are today’s gentlemen…"

Andreyev also homed in on London’s campaign to link the Salisbury incident to a host of alleged "illegal actions by the Kremlin."

"Cyber attacks, meddling in elections and referendums are all similar to Skripal’s case in the way that in all those cases accusations are put forward against Russia, which are not backed by any real evidence," he said. "We have already grown accustomed to the fact that it is a routine practice in the West to accuse Russia at the slightest pretext and without bothering to provide any evidence. Moreover, these accusations lack even elementary logic and common sense."

"In the attempted murder story, Russia has many questions about British officials’ actions in broad daylight," the diplomat noted. "There have never been any answers to them."

Salisbury’s toxic incident

On March 4, former Russian military intelligence Colonel Sergei Skripal, who had been convicted in Russia of spying for Great Britain and was later swapped for Russian intelligence officers, and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious on a bench near the Maltings shopping center in Salisbury, UK. Police said they had allegedly been exposed to a nerve agent. Both are in the hospital in critical condition.

London immediately accused Russia of being involved, but failed to produce any evidence. UK Prime Minister Theresa May rushed to blame Russia for "unlawful use of force" against her country. She identified the alleged substance used in the attack as the so-called Novichok nerve agent, allegedly developed in the former Soviet Union. Subsequently, 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.

Some European countries, including France, Germany and Poland, the Baltic states, Ukraine, Moldova, along with the US, Canada and Australia, decided to expel more than 100 Russian diplomats over the Skripal episode. The Russian Foreign Ministry warned that this unfriendly move would not go unanswered.