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    Investigators in protective clothing remove a van from an address in Winterslow, Wiltshire, as part of their investigation into the nerve-agent poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, in England, Monday, March 12, 2018

    Russian Embassy in UK: London Destroying Evidence Related to 'Skripal Case'

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    LONDON (Sputnik) - The fake news about a chemical attack in the Syrian town of Douma aims to distract the world from the fabricated Skripal case and build an anti-Russia alliance, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia said during an emergency Security Council meeting on Monday.

    "The fake news on Saturday from Douma is geared toward drawing the attention of society away from the Skripal case, which was muddled up by London, and throwing on Russia completely unconfirmed accusations with the aim of pulling solidarity to build an anti-Russian alliance," Nebenzia said.

    On Saturday, several opposition online news portals reported, citing Syrian militants, that the country's army had used chlorine in Douma. According to media reports, the "chemical attack" killed up to 70 people and injured hundreds of others. In turn, Syria’s SANA news agency reported citing Syrian officials that these allegations were merely a provocation by Jaish al-Islam group and other militants to hinder the advance of the Syrian government’s army.

    On Sunday, the Russian reconciliation center for Syria categorically refuted media reports about the Syrian armed forces having dropped a chlorine-filled bomb on Douma. The center's representatives have visited the place of the alleged chemical attack and questioned local doctors, who said that they had not received individuals with symptoms of chemical poisoning.

    Moreover, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated that such information aimed to make legit cover for terrorists and justify possible external military intervention in Syria.

    Meanwhile, the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) involvement in the Skripal poisoning case has become obvious after reports emerged that the US spy agency offered shelter to the two victims in the incident, meaning that Russian officials may never see them again, Russian envoy to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia said.

    On Sunday, UK media reported that the United States could provide the Skripals with new identities in order to protect them from new potential attacks. According to media reports, apart from the United States the representatives of the two intelligence services have discussed Australia, Canada and New Zealand as potential destination for relocation of the Skripals under new names.

    "According to reports from newspapers, we learned that the CIA proposed to shelter the Skripals in the US and to give them new names," Nebenzia told the UN Security Council during an emergency meeting on Syria on Monday. "The participation of the CIA here in itself speaks volumes. However, this also means that we possibly perhaps will never see these people, [who are] key witnesses of what took place."

    In addition, the Russian embassy in the United Kingdom has sent an official note to the UK Foreign Office asking to confirm or to refute new details of the "Skripal case" previously reported by media, a spokesperson of the embassy told Sputnik.

    "This is yet another example of potentially important information spread by media, when the Russian side still had not received any information from UK authorities through official channels. Today the embassy has sent yet another note to the UK Foreign Office asking either to confirm or to refute the abovementioned reports," the spokesperson said Monday.

    Moreover, the spokesperson of the Russian embassy said that the alleged relocation of the former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia to a third country would become a violation of international law.

    "Such relocation could become yet another blatant violation of international law. After the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, the United Kingdom does not meet its commitments under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the bilateral consular convention," the spokesperson said Monday citing the UK refusal to provide the Russian side with access to the poisoned compatriots and refusal to grant a UK visa to Viktoria Skripal — the niece of a poisoned ex-spy.

    "If such a secret relocation of Sergei and Yulia Skripal takes place, the possibility to listen to their version of the March 4 events highly likely will be lost. If the world is deprived of the opportunity to communicate with them, it will have grounds to consider this situation as an abduction of two Russian citizens, or at least as their isolation," the diplomat added.

    Moreover, the spokesperson noted that the russian embassy had taken into account the UK media reports that said that former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with the nerve agent spread on the door of Skripal's house and the information about the presence of medics, who had been trained to provide assistance to people affected by chemical weapons, in the hospital, where the Skripals had been sent to after the poisoning.

    Meanwhile, the information of the UK-based media oulets about a suspicious message allegedly intercepted by the analysts of the Royal Air Force (RAF) soon after the poisoning of former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal looks unpersuasive, a spokesperson told Sputnik.

    On Monday, UK media reported that the RAF analysts in southern Cyprus allegedly intercepted messages sent from Syria to "an official" in Moscow after Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious in the UK city of Salisbury. According to media, the message said "the package has been delivered."

    "The reports that the Cyprus-based RAF analysts intercepted certain messages on March 3 and March 4 look very unpersuasive. So do the attempts to link these messages with the 'Skripal Case.' The fact that as it has been stated, the intercepted information, along with other sources, has been used by the UK side to persuade its allies to expel the Russian diplomats again shows that the UK position is based only on assumptions," the spokesperson said Monday.

    The diplomat added that the embassy had already sent an official request to confirm or to refute the reports.

    In addition, The spokesperson of the Russian embassy to the UK believes that the reports about future demolition of the buildings are proving the fact that the United Kingdom is implementing a policy of destruction of evidence, a spokesperson of the Russian embassy to the United Kingdom told Sputnik.

    On Monday, media reported that the house of former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal in the UK town of Salisbury, as well as the Mill pub and Zizzi restaurant, attended by the ex-spy and his daughter Yulia before the poisoning, would be demolished.

    "Such steps prove that the United Kingdom has started pursuing a policy of destroying important evidence. We have seen the same in the case with Sergei Skripal's pets, with a bench in the park, where Sergei and Yulia Skripal have been found and so on," the spokesperson said Monday.

    According to the official, the United Kingdom has not provided any information to the Russian side on the investigation and does not cooperate with the Russian investigators on the issue. The diplomat said that on March 12, UK Prime Minister Theresa May and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson have brought charges against Russia, however no evidence has been provided so far.

    "We have an impression that the UK government makes intentional attempts to destroy all possible evidence, to classify all the existing materials and to remove the possibility to hold an independent and transparent investigation. Such policy could only undermine the country's authority and to harm its image. We demand a clear and public explanation of this position," the spokesperson said.

    Sergei Skripal, the former Russian military intelligence colonel who was recruited by British intelligence, and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious on March 4 at a shopping center in Salisbury, England. The UK authorities have accused Russia of orchestrating an attack on the Skripals with a Soviet-era A234 nerve agent.

    In turn, the British government and its western allies have accused Russia of being involved in a nerve agent attack on Sergei Skripal.

    Russia has denied having any role in the Skripal case and requested a joint investigation as per international law and samples of the substance used to poison the Skripals, but was rejected. Russia has also pointed out that the United Kingdom has not offered evidence to substantiate its groundless claims.

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    Tags:
    destruction, poisoning, investigation, evidence, Russian embassy in UK, Yulia Skripal, Sergei Skripal, Russia, United Kingdom
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