15:20 GMT +319 May 2019
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    Briefing by Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova

    Moscow Proves UK Tends to Carry Out Secret Operations Abroad – Zakharova

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    KHABAROVSK (Russia) (Sputnik) – The Russian Foreign Ministry has provided sufficient information to prove that it is the United Kingdom, not Russia, which tends to conduct secret operations abroad, Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

    Russian-UK relations significantly deteriorated in March due to an attempted poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the UK city of Salisbury. London accused Moscow of being behind the crime, which, according to the UK, was committed with the use of the A234 chemical agent.

    "From the very beginning, we said that all three of the arguments put forward by the United Kingdom [on the Salisbury case] … are groundless. The first one is that Russia has always done that, historically, and that it is in our culture to murder people abroad, carry out such operations. It seems that we have given enough historical material on this subject, moreover, the material proves that the UK intelligence services have always been the most involved in such operations, and, moreover, they have always been perfect in attempts — often successful ones — to portray their crimes as someone’s else,” Zakharova told the Rossiya 1 broadcaster on Sunday.

    Another UK argument, according to the spokeswoman, was that the Novichok chemical, which from London’s point of view is the same agent as A234, was produced and tested only in Russia.

    “We … provided information that at least 20 countries of the North Atlantic region were nowadays developing ["Novichok"-class agents] including Sweden and the Czech Republic. Three-four weeks later our information was confirmed — what a scandal erupted in Prague [when it turned out that] the official agencies of the Czech Republic possessed this substance,” Zakharova said.

    She pointed out that the scandal around development of the 'Novichok'-class chemical in the Czech Republic proved that the United Kingdom and the United States — which immediately supported London — were providing false information on the issue.

    “The third argument, on which the UK position is based, that these substances were delivered from Russia, was in fact refuted by UK labs,” Zakharova said adding the Russian Foreign Ministry’s goal was to respond to all the false accusations with a point of view based on facts.


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