Cui bono? Russian envoy to UN asks about Salisbury case, says Moscow ready for open probe

Cui bono? Russian envoy to UN asks about Salisbury case, says Moscow ready for open probe
Russia's envoy to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya, has demanded “hard evidence” of Russia's involvement in the incident in Salisbury. He also asked members of UNSC to think who would benefit from accusations against Russia.

Establishing truth in the case of the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal is actually “the last thing” that the British government is interested in, Nebenzya said during a UN Security Council (UNSC) meeting called on the initiative of the UK. He went on to say that the UK is, in fact, waging a “propagandist war” against Russia by throwing “baseless accusations” at Moscow.

"We were given 24 hours to confess to a crime," the Russian envoy to the UN said. "We do not speak the language of ultimatums,” he said, adding that Russia would not allow anyone to treat them in such a way.

Nebenzya pointed out that the UK dragged this case to the UN, rather than addressing a relevant international body in The Hague – the Organization for the Prohibition of the Chemical Weapons (OPCW) - because it is scared of a professional probe. Most of the UK's claims are in the form of "highly likely," he added.

He then went on to criticize the British Prime Minister Theresa May’s letter to the UN by saying that it contained “absolutely irresponsible statements,” as well as open “threats to a sovereign state and a permanent member of the UNSC,” that are in clear “contradiction to the international law.”

The Russian envoy then reiterated Moscow’s position that Russia has nothing to do with Skripal’s poisoning. He added that Moscow had absolutely no interest in killing a former double agent that was earlier convicted and then pardoned by the Russian authorities and “posed absolutely no threat” to Russia. Nebenzya then asked the UNSC members to think about who could be genuinely interested and would ultimately benefit from such a scandal.

At the same time, he said that Russia is still ready to take part in the investigation of the incident and to cooperate with the UK on that matter. "We are ready for a joint inquiry. We have nothing to hide,” Nebenzya said.