01:33 GMT +319 August 2018
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    British Military personnel wearing protective coveralls work to remove a vehicle connected to the March 4 nerve agent attack in Salisbury, from a residential street in Gillingham, southeast England on March 14, 2018

    Merkel Blames Moscow, but Hope It Will Be Part of Investigation of Skripal Case

    © AFP 2018 / Adrian DENNIS
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    Moscow has numerous times expressed its wish to take part in the Skripal poisoning investigation together with the UK, while the latter has refused to provide any sufficient information on the issue, including samples of the nerve agent.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed hope on Friday that Russia would take part in the investigation of the poisoning of former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal in the United Kingdom.

    "I can only hope that Russia will also take part in this investigation," Merkel said at a briefing.

    However, the chancellor mentioned the alleged traces in the attack, pointing, as she claimed, to the Russian responsibility for it.

    "Many traces indicate that Russia is responsible here," she stated during a joint press-conference with French President Emmanuel Macron. "It is good that the British government will now provide samples [of the substance that was used to poison Skripal] to international organizations," Merkel said, adding that she was going to discuss the "appropriate reaction that will follow" with Macron.

    The same position has been voiced by the French president, who has also blamed Moscow for the attack.

    "Everything indicates that it was Russia who committed this murder attempt," he said.

    Earlier in the day, Russian Envoy to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Alexander Shulgin said that Moscow was interested in determining the truth in the Skripal case more than London.

    Meanwhile, Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz has said that Poland is ready to join new sanctions against Russia that could be imposed over the Skripal's poisoning.

    "Speaking about the sanctions, Poland could support such activities… I have expressed my readiness to touch on this issue on Monday during the session of the EU foreign ministers, this topic has been put on the agenda [of the meeting]," Czaputowicz said.

    The politician added that the international community should show decisiveness in this issue.

    The stetement of the Polish senior official comes a day after French President Emmanuel Macron said he would announce the measures against Moscow "in the coming days," and condemned the attack, in which "everything points to the fact that Russia is responsible."

    READ MORE: Johnson Claims it Was Likely Putin's Decision to Direct Alleged Skripal Attack

    Sergei Skripal, who was accused of espionage on behalf of London and later granted asylum in the United Kingdom after a US-Russia spy exchange, and his daughter were found unconscious on March 4 on a bench at a shopping center in Salisbury. Both of them remain in critical condition and are being treated for suspected exposure to a nerve agent, supposedly the substance known as Novichok.

    In the most recent development of the case earlier this week, UK Prime Minister Theresa May said that Russia was "highly likely" responsible for the attack on Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry has refuted all the allegations and requested the UK Foreign Office for a joint investigation into the case. The proposal was ignored by the UK leadership, with May announcing a package of anti-Russian measures, including the expulsion of Russian diplomats, and suspension of bilateral contacts between London and Moscow.

    Related:

    UK Intelligence: Novichok Was Planted in Luggage of Skripal's Daughter – Reports
    UK ‘Rushed to Judgment’ on Skripal Poisoning for ‘Political Purposes’
    NATO Chief Stoltenberg Confuses Russia With Soviet Union When Discussing Skripal
    Tags:
    Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Angela Merkel, Russia
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