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Moscow Recommends That London Not Rush to Destroy Evidence in Skripal Case

© AP Photo / Andrew MatthewsSoldiers wearing protective clothing prepare to lift tow truck in Hyde Road, Gillingham, Dorset, England as the investigation into the suspected nerve agent attack on Russian double agent Sergei Skripal continues Wednesday March 14, 2018
Soldiers wearing protective clothing prepare to lift tow truck in Hyde Road, Gillingham, Dorset, England as the investigation into the suspected nerve agent attack on Russian double agent Sergei Skripal continues Wednesday March 14, 2018 - Sputnik International
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The UK government said last week that the clean-up work had begun in Salisbury, which was the site of the suspected nerve agent attack against former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

"We are expecting to receive comprehensive answers to our questions [from London and OPCW]. The Russian side is still ready for constructive engagement with Britain to clarify this very complicated matter," Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said. "We are ready to cooperate in any international legal formats, we urge London not to hurry up with the destruction of evidence."

Zakharova also said it was "highly likely" that the provocation involving the poisoning of the Skripals was beneficial to the UK secret services or even staged by them in order to discredit the Russian government.

"Historically, the UK has been engaging in such actions [staging provocations]. This step falls in line with the Russophobic line of the conservative government that seeks to demonize our country. Among other things, this has been confirmed by the British national security strategy, as well as UK Prime Minister Theresa May's banquet speech at the end of last year."

READ MORE: State Dept Backs UK Assertion That Russia Responsible for Skripal Attack

Various police, Army and other emergency service personal attend a scene in Durrington near Salisbury, England, Monday March 19, 2018, as a car is taken away for further investigation into the suspected nerve agent attack on Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia - Sputnik International
Chemical Agent in Skripal Case Produced in Western Labs, Expert Says
She also said that London's decision not to cooperate with Moscow on the investigation, the concealment of the documents on the probe, as well as well as OPCW's denial to carry out joint work with Russia add to the fact that the poisoning was beneficial to the UK.

Last week, the UK government announced the clean-up work at the sites of the suspected nerve agent attack against former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in Salisbury "to bring a small number of potentially contaminated sites back into safe use for the people of the city and its visitors." The department said that a total of nine sites, three of which are in the city center, have been identified as requiring "some level of specialist cleaning."

Yulia Skripal's Health

The Russian embassy in London said on Thursday that it had turned to the UK Foreign Office with a note demanding a medical examination of Sergei Skripal daughter's by Russian medics.

"Russian citizen Yulia Skripal has been illegally withheld by British authorities since March 4, 2018. They have blocked her from having any contacts with us. The embassy is concerned about Yulia Skripal's health condition, as well as the lack of any official information about her. All public statements made to date by the British authorities cannot be considered reliable. This scandalous situation once again confirms that an unprecedented provocation has been carried out with the help of the British special services in regards to the Skripal family, who are Russian citizens," the embassy spokesman has said.

The press secretary went on to say that the lack of possibility to visit the Skripals in order to inspect their condition and determine whether they are acting independently or under pressure.

Various police, Army and other emergency service personal attend a scene in Durrington near Salisbury, England, Monday March 19, 2018, as a car is taken away for further investigation into the suspected nerve agent attack on Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia - Sputnik International
Chemical Agent in Skripal Case Produced in Western Labs, Expert Says
The Skripals have been in a hospital since March 4, when they were found unconscious on a bench at a shopping center in Salisbury. The United Kingdom promptly accused Moscow of orchestrating the poisoning attack with what UK experts claimed was the A234 nerve agent. 

The alleged poisoning attack has caused a severe diplomatic crisis in UK-Russian ties. May expelled Russian diplomats and called on the international community to take such action in solidarity with the United Kingdom. As a result, over 25 states expelled in excess of 100 Russian diplomats following London's suit. Moscow responded with the expulsion of the diplomats from the countries that had supported the move.

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