Tanguy de Wilde, an international affairs expert and a Catholic University professor in Louvain, said that no evidence has so far been provided by the British authorities linking Moscow to last month’s nerve agent poisoning of the former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.
“What makes the Skripal case so unusual is that it has not been settled by [the two countries’] intelligence agencies. Instead, the whole matter was brought up to a government level with an eye to making it public and prejudging the outcome of the probe. This gave the Russians every right to slam this type deliberate accusation, which was not backed up with any formal proof of Moscow’s involvement,” Tanguy De Wilde told Radio Premiere.
He added that “even though Russia responded by expelling European diplomats, it is not trying to break off contacts.”
“What [Russia] did was to scale down, maybe temporarily, the channels of communication in a symbolic gesture to show just how serious this whole crisis really is,” he noted.
Moscow has strongly denied any involvement and is already taking retaliatory measures sending home more than 150 Western diplomats and shutting down the US Consulate in St. Petersburg.