UN, April 6. /TASS/. Washington still firmly believes that Moscow is responsible for the attempted poisoning of former Russian military intelligence (GRU) officer Sergei Skripal in the British city of Salisbury, a US envoy at the UN Security Council meeting looking into the Salisbury poisoning Kelley Currie said on Thursday.
"We firmly believe Russia is responsible for this chemical weapons attack on UK soil. Either Russia deliberately used this military-grade weapon or failed to declare and secure its stocks of this nerve agent," she said.
Currie also accused Moscow of putting forward "a series of conspiracy theories" in an attempt to shift blame with wild claims that the UK or the United States might be responsible." "This disinformation and projection coming from our Russian colleagues is preposterous," she added.
On March 4, 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 an alleged nerve agent in the British city of Salisbury. Claiming that the substance used in the attack had been a so-called Novichok-class nerve agent developed in the Soviet Union, London rushed to accuse Russia of being involved in the incident.
Moscow rejected 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. Without presenting any evidence, the UK expelled 23 Russian diplomats and announced other restrictive measures against Moscow. In retaliation to the UK’s steps, 23 British diplomats were expelled from Russia, the British Consulate General in the city of St. Petersburg was closed and the British Council had to shut down its operations in Russia.
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.