‘London will have to apologize yet’ – Putin spokesman on UK lab's revelation in Skripal case
London will eventually have to apologize for its baseless accusations against Moscow in the Skripal poisoning case, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, after a UK military lab admitted it could not link the attack to Moscow.
"For us, the situation was appalling from the very beginning, and now, confirmation is gradually starting to come in that the insane accusations, made by the British side a few hours after the assassination attempt [on double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter], are baseless and groundless," Peskov told journalists Tuesday. He was speaking shortly after the Sky News interview in which the head of the Porton Down chemical lab admitted his scientists had found no confirmation the A-234 ("Novichok") chemical agent used in the poisoning came from Russia.
Peskov said he believes the allegations against Moscow will never be confirmed: "The British foreign minister [Boris Johnson], who accused President Putin, and the British Prime Minister [Theresa May], will have to somehow look in their European Union colleagues' eye, after what they had told them," Peskov said.
"Somehow, they will have to make apologies to the Russian side," he said. “But of course, it’s still a long way off, and this idiocy has gone too far.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin, meanwhile, said he was looking forward to the upcoming emergency session of the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), hoping it will put the Skripal case to rest.
"We have prepared at least 20 questions for discussion. We hope that this discussion will put an end to this issue," Putin told journalists in Ankara, where he was holding a joint press conference with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned in early March. British government authorities are claiming that a Russian-made military-grade nerve agent was involved, and that Moscow was behind the poisoning, while the Kremlin insists the entire case has been fabricated against it.
Russia has launched its own criminal investigation into the poisoning, since the victims hold Russian citizenship, and has been extending offers of assistance in the OPCW investigation. The UK has ignored the Russian offers, instead demanding that Moscow admits guilt. London has expelled 23 Russian diplomats, whom it claims were covert spies, and also convinced a number of allied countries to expel dozens more. Moscow responded with tit-for-tat expulsions.