Sputnik: Why has the British Prime Minister accused Russia despite not having any evidence?
Alexander Mercouris: What has happened is that the British government has rushed off this statement demanding that the Russians essentially prove their innocence by close of business today so that she can declare them guilty when they haven't [done anything], and it's, of course, absolute nonsense, because you cannot place a finding of guilt on the other side's inability to produce proof of innocence; it totally reverses the burden of proof. What it shows is that the British government is determined to declare Russia guilty where there's no real evidence that Russia actually is guilty so rather than produce any evidence showing that Russia is guilty they've come up with this extraordinary ultimatum so that they feel that they can say it.
Sputnik: They've asked for this evidence of innocence and yet they have refused to grant Russia access to the case; do you think that that was something that they should've done?
Sputnik: I believe that Theresa May in speaking has said that there've been international experts who have studied these samples and made the determination that they are consistent with chemical substances that were at some point manufactured in Russia…
Alexander Mercouris: First of all, we don't know who these international experts are, and secondly, those experts were not consulted as part of an international investigation, The problem with that is that we don't know who these international experts are and, secondly, those experts were not consulted as part of an international investigation, they we consulted as part of a British investigation in which the British are trying to make up for their lack of evidence of Russian state involvement by declaring ultimatums. If there is evidence like that, which is convincing, it should be produced. I must make a further point, which is that of course, chemical weapons can be produced in all sorts of places, the chemical weapons programs that Theresa May was referring to; its production facility was not in Russia actually, it was in Uzbekistan, apparently. The Russians are not the only people who have the knowledge to produce chemical weapons of the family that Theresa May was referring to, but what is the other evidence that points to Russia? We haven't seen it.
Sputnik: What is this going to do to diplomatic ties between Russia and the UK? And also there's been talk that if this ultimatum is not met there will be very serious repercussions, what can we expect to see in the way of sanctions or action against Russia?
Sputnik: Theresa May's accusations according to some experts are due to the pressure that she faces at home, do you agree with that?
Alexander Mercouris: I think that may be true. The problem is that Theresa May is very weak Prime Minister, she's in a very weak position, she did very badly in the general election last year and she has little authority either in her party or in the country. Unfortunately, she's not in any position to resist pressure, even to take steps that will worsen relations between Russia and Britain.
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