Russia is not involved in Skripal case at any level – Kremlin
Russia has nothing to do with the Skripal poisoning case at any level, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said, slamming “unacceptable” British allegations.
“Neither Russia’s top leadership nor those with lower ranks, and no country’s officials, have had anything to do with the events in Salisbury,” Peskov said. He rebuffed UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s claim that the attack on the ex-double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter was approved at “senior level of the Russian state.”
“Any accusations against Russian leadership are unacceptable,” the spokesman added.
On Wednesday, UK prosecutors named two “Russians” whom they accuse of poisoning the Skripals. May later claimed that the duo were officers of the Russian military intelligence agency GRU. Firing back, the Russian Foreign Ministry said the names and photos of the two men ‘do not mean anything’ to Moscow and called on London “to abandon making public accusations and media manipulations.”
If the UK wants Russia to take action, it should send an official request in the first place in accordance with existing agreements, Peskov stressed, noting that media reports and statemens in parliament cannot replace it.
“We need a request from the British side to check their [suspects’] identities, to give us legal grounds for the identity checks. There is a common practice [for it],” he told journalists. He stressed that from the very beginning Moscow offered cooperation on the case, but London has been reluctant to agree.
One of the main arguments leading the UK to repeat its “highly likely” mantra regarding Moscow’s involvement in the poisoning has been that the Novichok nerve agent – allegedly used in this case – could have only been produced by Russia. However, foreign specialists have long been familiar with the formula, which was developed by the Soviet Union.
The new “revelations,” however, are not more plausible that the previous ones, Charles Shoebridge, a security expert and a former British military officer, told RT. The simple fact that allegedly well-trained Russian intelligence specialists could have left behind so much evidence speaks for itself, he says.
“It seems very strange that these people have absolutely left what seems to be a very reckless and clear trail of evidence, which almost seems to be designed, or at least would almost inevitably lead to the conclusions that the police and the authorities have come to today, in other words that Russia [is] to blame,” he told RT.
READ MORE: Skripal saga: 'Trail of reckless evidence' casts doubt over Moscow's involvement, analyst tells RT
Annie Machon, a former MI5 intelligence officer, said she doubts Russia’s alleged motive behind the Salisbury incident and that certain pieces of evidence reported by the media “may look pretty compelling but will never be tested in a real court of law.”
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