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Salisbury Poisoning: Some States Remain Stuck in Cold War Mentality – Analysts

© REUTERS / Parliament TV Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May addresses the House of Commons on her government's reaction to the poisoning of former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, in London, March 14, 2018
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May addresses the House of Commons on her government's reaction to the poisoning of former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, in London, March 14, 2018 - Sputnik International
The Salisbury poisoning is being used by the West as a pretext to once again exert pressure on Russia and damage its international reputation, Chinese analysts told Sputnik, adding that the coordinated expulsion of Russian diplomats indicates that the Cold War has not yet become a thing of the past.

Although the Cold War ended 27 years ago, there are those who remain stuck to its legacy in the sphere of international relations, says Yao Peisheng a Chinese diplomat who served as ambassador of the People's Republic of China to Kazakhstan (1999-2003) and Ukraine (2003-2005), commenting on the UK-fanned scandal over the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

"This [approach] has led to huge chaos in the world," Yao told Sputnik China. "But the situation in the world has already changed. The international community has always hoped to build a stable and secure world. China has always sought to resolve differences and contradictions through dialogue in the spheres of politics, security or economics. Any other way will yield no benefits."

More than 25 countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia and EU member states, have expelled over 150 Russian diplomats as a gesture of solidarity with the UK after London had groundlessly blamed the alleged nerve agent attack against the Skripals in Salisbury on Russia.

"First of all this incident indicates the West's hostile approach toward Russia," Yang Mian, a political analyst at the Center for International Relations at the Chinese Institute of Communications, said. "At the outset Russia proposed to launch a joint investigation [into the Skripal case], however, Britain rushed to claim that Russia was responsible for the incident. This was announced before the completion of the inquiry. Some countries have gone even so far as to oppose Russia together with Britain. I do not exclude that they agreed on this in advance. Personally, I believe that the West has reached this unity after the [Salisbury] incident."

A police officer stands outside the London Road cemetery where the grave of Alexander Skripal; son of former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal; is seen covered with a tent, in Salisbury, Britain - Sputnik International
China Urges to Drop Cold War Mentality Amid Skripal Case – Foreign Ministry
Yang suggested that those Western countries which were dissatisfied with Vladimir Putin's win in the 2018 presidential election jumped at the opportunity to further exert pressure on Russia.

According to the analyst, having realized that they are incapable of discrediting the Russian vote, these countries used the Salisbury poisoning as a pretext to voice their discontent, support Russian opposition forces and damage the country's international reputation.

US, EU 'Seeking to Prevent Russia's Revival'

According to the Chinese analyst, some Western states may use the incident to justify the boycott of the Russia-hosted 2018 World Cup: "Whether it's the summer or winter Olympics, or the World Cup, they are always eager to find reasons to oppose Russia," he remarked.

"The US is also demonstrating Russophobic sentiments," Yang continued. "Although Donald Trump hopes that Russian-American relations could be improved, he cannot but follow in the footsteps of the rest of the West. Add to this the so-called 'Russiagate'. All this forces Trump to demonstrate a tough stance towards Russia."

Russian President Vladimir Putin ahead of a meeting of the Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights in the Kremlin - Sputnik International
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He recalled that the US and European countries had chosen Russia as their target many times before, especially after the Euromaidan Revolution of 2014 in Ukraine. They are seeking to prevent Russia's revival, Yang opined.

Beijing denounced the decision of Western states to expel Russian diplomats as a demonstration of the Cold War mentality.

"We believed that the case should be dealt with based on facts and through conversation between Russia and the UK," foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a daily briefing on March 27. "We believed that relevant countries should abandon the Cold War mentality and give up confrontation to maintain global peace and stability."

Simultaneously, Chinese media outlet Global Times lambasted the UK-led expulsion as a "crude form of behavior."

"The fact that major Western powers can gang up and 'sentence' a foreign country without following the same procedures other countries abide by and according to the basic tenets of international law is chilling," the media outlet highlighted. "During the Cold War, not one Western nation would have dared to make such a provocation and yet today it is carried out with unrestrained ease. Such actions are nothing more than a form of Western bullying that threatens global peace and justice."

Russian Foreign Ministry - Sputnik International
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On March 4, former MI6 agent Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were found unconscious on a bench in Salisbury, Britain, allegedly falling victim to a chemical attack by the A-234 nerve agent. While Sergei Skripal still remains in a critical condition, his daughter has reportedly regained consciousness.

Following the incident the British leadership pointed the finger of blame at Russia, initiating the expulsion of 23 Russian envoys. The US followed suit, deporting 60 Russian diplomats. More than two dozen countries have demonstrated "solidarity" with London, despite the fact that the investigation into the Skripal case is far from over. Russia responded in a similar manner, booting out British and American envoys.

The views and opinions expressed by Yao Peisheng, Yang Mian are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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