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Russia has no trust in UK account of Salisbury events — foreign intelligence chief

"When they say it is ‘highly likely’ that Russia is to blame we are not convinced by that," Naryshkin said.

LONDON, June 20. /TASS/. Russia does not trust UK authorities’ statements about the events in Salisbury, Director of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) and Chairman of the Russian Historical Society Sergei Naryshkin said in an interview with BBC on Friday.

"We don't trust what the British government has been saying about Salisbury. When they say it is ‘highly likely’ that Russia is to blame we are not convinced by that," Naryshkin said.

Naryshkin met with a BBC reporter in the SVR headquarters in Moscow. According to BBC, it was the first time a foreign correspondent was allowed to enter the premises of the Foreign Intelligence Service’s main office.

On March 4, 2018, former GRU (Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate) officer Sergei Skripal, who had been convicted in Russia of spying for Great Britain and later swapped for Russian intelligence officers, and his daughter Yulia suffered the effects of the so-called Novichok nerve agent in the British city of Salisbury. Claiming that the substance used in the attack had been a nerve agent allegedly developed in Russia, London rushed to accuse Moscow of being involved in the incident. The Russian side dismissed all of the United Kingdom’s accusations, saying that a program aimed at developing such a substance had existed neither in the Soviet Union nor in Russia. Britain’s military chemical laboratory at Porton Down failed to pinpoint the origin of the substance that allegedly poisoned the Skripals.

On June 7, The Sunday Times newspaper reported citing a high-ranking source in the UK government that Sergei and Yulia Skripal moved to New Zealand, where they live under new names and with new documents.