British govt must explain its behavior in Skripal case, Syria strikes – UKIP MEP
Speaking to RT at the Yalta International Economic Forum in Crimea, West Midlands Member of European Parliament (MEP) Bill Etheridge said there is a lot of "murky water" in the Skripal case. "A lot of things that are unexplained, a lot of behavior that does not ring true."
He went on to explain that "the British course of public opinion doesn't believe it, so the behavior of our government and security services, they need to explain to use why they are so convinced that the great nation of Russia would wish to attack anyone in our country."
Etheridge added that no one has provided any "solid proof" that Russia was behind the poisoning. "The current British government position is one where they are taking too strong a position with Russia. They should be having dialogue, they should be having conversation."
Skripal, a former Russian double agent, and his daughter Yulia were poisoned in the UK town of Salisbury on March 4. Russia has offered its full cooperation and urged London to provide evidence, including nerve agent samples. However, it has not received any.
The Russian Foreign Ministry says the incident is "highly likely" to have been staged by British intelligence, while Russia's envoy to the UK has expressed concern that the investigation by the Office for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) lacked transparency.
Etheridge also addressed the topic of Western intervention in Syria, one week after the UK, US, and France launched airstrikes over an alleged chemical attack that the three allies have blamed on the government of Bashar Assad.
"My belief is... the Syrian civil war is one where Western intervention is not helpful... my position is that there should be no intervention and frankly by intervening in that part of the world in the past, the UK and US have made things worse. As far as I'm concerned, we should stand back from this and allow the Syrian people self-determination."
"I expect that London will get pressure from the British people to justify themselves and if they cannot justify themselves, there will be protests from British people saying, 'no war in our name, no conflict in our name.'"
The UK, US, and France refused to wait for the results of an official OPCW investigation into the alleged chemical attack before deciding on military action. This also came despite the Russian military traveling to the scene of the alleged attack and finding no evidence of a toxic agent.
Russia has also stated that it has indisputable evidence that the attack did not take place, with Russia's Ambassador to the OPCW, Aleksandr Shulgin, stating that it was a "pre-planned false-flag attack by the British security services, which could have also been aided by their allies in Washington."
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