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Russia hopes OPCW to promptly answer its questions in Skripal case, says envoy

On Sunday, Moscow referred to organisation a list of 13 questions concerning the so-called Skripal case framed-up against Russia

THE HAGUE, April 2. /TASS/. Russia anticipates a prompt response to the questions to the technical secretariat of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the OPCW Alexander Shulgin told TASS on Monday.

"You know, questions were posted yesterday on the Foreign Ministry’s website to the OPCW technical secretariat, as well as to the UK and France, which, as we understand, has also joined in a certain capacity the national investigation carried out by the UK," Shulgin said. "We have already referred nine questions, but received practically a run-around reply. We saw no proper response. That is why we have expanded the list of our questions adding new ones, and are waiting for the answers," he went on to say.

"In addition, we sent a note with the opinion of our lawyers on the inconsistency of arguments related to the confidentiality provision (which envisages that the results of the OPCW expertise on the Salisbury poisoning case can be submitted to the Executive Council of the organization only with the consent of the British side - TASS)," the diplomat said. "We asked for a prompt reply, we hope our colleagues won’t fail us and will give some intelligible answer," Shulgin added.

"We will be doing everything possible to have these answers as soon as possible. We maintain working contacts with the colleagues. I think things will be cleared up to some extent," Shulgin said.

On Sunday, Russia referred to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons a list of 13 questions concerning the so-called Skripal case framed-up against Russia.

The list, in particular, has such questions as what kind of data and materials were provided by the United Kingdom and whether the organization plans to share the British side’s information with Russia.

The Russian side also wants to know what kind of assistance from the OPCW technical secretariat was requested by London, whether it requests to verify the very fact of the use of a nerve agent or to conform that it was a Novichok-class substance.

Apart from that, Russia asks the OPCW who led its expert team that visited the United Kingdom, how long they worked in the UK and whom they contacted with.

The Russian foreign ministry asks to explain the procedure of sample collecting and whether the OPCW’s basic probe principle, the so-called chain of custody, was observed.

The Russian side wants to know whether the OPCW technical secretariat gave its consent to the disclosure of the British side’s investigation data to the European Union countries and whether France notified it about its joining the technical assistance requested by the United Kingdom.