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UK’s ‘highly likely’ argument on Russian involvement in Skripal case failed – envoy to UN

London and its allies would demonstrate their reluctance to get to the truth about the poisoning episode in the British city of Salisbury unless they support it, the Russian diplomat stated
Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya Valery Sharifulin/TASS
Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya
© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

UNITED NATIONS, April 6. /TASS/. The failure by UK experts to establish the origins of the chemical agent used in the Salisbury poisoning has utterly eroded London’s claims about Moscow’s involvement, the Russian Ambassador to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya said on Thursday at an open meeting of the UN Security Council.

"Gary Aitkenhead, chief executive of the laboratory at Porton Down said in this connection his laboratory had established that a weapons-grade nerve agent had been utilized but they had failed to confirm its origins," Nebenzya recalled. "All of this means the main argument waved by the British side that the agent was overwhelmingly likely of Russian origin has crumbled to pieces right in front of our eyes."

"In the meantime, the whole system of so-called evidence was built exactly around the suppositions on the ‘highly likely’ big degree of Russia’s involvement in the case," he recalled.

Nebenzya extolled Gary Aitkenhead’s professional moral standing.

"We must praise Mr. Aitkenhead, who didn’t sacrifice his professional standing for the purpose of suiting the schemes of the British authorities," he said. "Along with it, Aitkenhead indicated there was no way that anything like that would have come from them or would have left the four walls of their facility."

"The question is what is it?" Nebenzya said. "What precisely would have never left the lab? Does the Organization of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons know about it?"

He said, however, that Aitkenhead’s confession only added to the murkiness of the Salisbury case.

Moscow has prepared a draft statement for the UN Security Council, Vasily Nebenzya said, adding that London and its allies would demonstrate their reluctance to get to the truth about the poisoning episode in the British city of Salisbury unless they support it. "We have prepared a draft statement for the Council. It will be a litmus test as to whether the UK and its allies are true to their words," he said. Rejecting that test will be a confirmation of their "dirty games," the diplomat added.

The Russian ambassador to the UN further castigated the UK’s ‘absurd and immoral’ allegations about Moscow’s involvement in the Salisbury poisoning.

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson "has made absurd and immoral suggestions that the incident in Salisbury was allegedly advantageous for Moscow to unite people ahead of the election," the diplomat said.

"As immoral is his comparison between the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia and the 1936 Berlin Olympics, which unlike the Soviet Union, was attended by an impressive delegation from Britain, including high-ranked officials," he added.

Anti-Russian propaganda

Moscow may discern the role of security services of a number of countries behind the case over the poisoning of the former Russian military intelligence officer and British spy Sergei Skripal and London's ruthless propaganda war against Russia, Vasily Nebenzya said.

"As substantiated proof of Russia's guilt, the British ambassador in Moscow demonstrated a six-page slide show to his colleagues, including the frontpage," Nebenzya said. "They pass off all these comic strips for its body of evidence, but there's nothing except the 'highly likely' proclamations in them."

"I think Prime Minister Theresa May showed this document to her counterparts in the EU, many of whom, but not everyone to their credit, accepted this as convincing proof of Russia's guilt," he said.

Nebenzya dismissed Boris Johnson's words about the 'dead cat' as red herring aimed at diverting attention from other problems.

"This exposes in bold relief the methods of propaganda warfare without any rules that the UK is conducting against Russia," he said.

Speaking of the methods of this warfare, Nebenzya did not rule out it was steered by еру secret services of a number of counties.

"We can suppose with a great degree of likelihood the role, which the secret service of a number of countries have played in this mega-provocation," Nebenzya said.

Moscow has not received any questions on Skripal case from London.

The Russian side has not received from the UK a list of questions concerning the Salisbury incident, in fact, London comes up only with accusations, Russia’s UN Ambassador told.

"Boris Jonson continues convincing everybody that the British side has allegedly submitted to Russia a list of questions, to which it has received no answers as of yet. It’s exactly the other way around," he said.

"As I have already told you, there has not been and there is no list of questions to us," he said. "I am appealing to the British side - if you have them, list these questions, please, only without passing off as questions those charges categorically laid against us and demands to confess," Nebenzya said.

"Meanwhile, we have lots of questions for both London, the OPCW (Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons - TASS) and also for France, which all of a sudden has rushed to assist in verifying the results of the British ‘express investigation’ under no obvious provisions of the CWC (Chemical Weapons Convention). In response to our question, the French side said that Britain had informed France about its investigation in detail. Now that London refuses to provide information to us, probably Paris will share it with us?" the diplomat questioned.