00:14 GMT +323 October 2018
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    A police officer near the Mill pub in Salisbury, where the traces of the nerve agent used to poison former Main Intelligence Directorate colonel Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found

    OPCW Assistance Requested by UK on Salisbury Case Lacks Transparency – Embassy

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    LONDON (Sputnik) – The procedure of technical assistance requested by the United Kingdom from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for identifying the type of chemical used during the Salisbury and Amesbury attacks lacked transparency, the Russian Embassy to the United Kingdom said on Wednesday.

    "The technical assistance requested by the British authorities to ‘independently confirm the identity of the nerve agent,’ unfortunately, lacks transparency and attests to UK’s arbitrary interpretation of the CWC [Chemical Weapons Convention]," the embassy’s press officer said.

    The officer pointed out that the Russian approach to the Salisbury case was very clear with Moscow willing to find out what happened to the Russian citizens in Salisbury.

    "Unfortunately, we have to note once again that no substantive answers have been provided by the British authorities to our numerous legitimate and comprehensive questions. Over the last five months the Embassy has sent a number of Notes Verbales requesting the FCO [UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office] to clarify as to how and by whom blood samples from Sergei and Yulia Skripal were collected; how it was documented; what was the procedure of sample collection; what assistance from the OPCW was requested; what information and material evidence the British side provided to the OPCW experts, etc," the embassy said.

    READ MORE: Almost All 'Salisbury Case' Evidence Being Destroyed - Russian Envoy to UK

    The press officer added that the fact that the OPCW Technical Secretariat had not confirmed the country of origin of the nerve agent used during the Salisbury and Amesbury attacks had not prevented the United Kingdom from launching an anti-Russian campaign.

    "Shortly after the Salisbury incident Russia proposed cooperation under paragraph 2, Article IX of the CWC and to hold a joint investigation into the incident. However, the British side has categorically declined," the embassy noted.

    On Tuesday, the UK authorities revealed that they had invited OPCW experts to come back to the country in order to independently confirm the identity of the nerve agent.

    READ MORE: Salisbury & Amesbury Cases: Top 5 Unsubstantiated Pieces of 'Evidence'

    The request was made after two poisoning accidents: one of them took place on July 4, when the UK police reported a "serious incident" in Amesbury, where two people were exposed to an unknown substance and hospitalized in critical condition. Shortly after, the UK police announced that the couple, Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley, were believed to have handled an item allegedly contaminated with the same military-grade nerve agent, which was allegedly used in an attack on the Skripals in Salisbury. On July 8, Sturgess died at the hospital, while Rowley was soon discharged from the medical facility.

    READ MORE: Specialists in Hazmat Suits Look for 'Novichok' in Salisbury Toilets - Reports

    The poisoning followed another similar case, involving former Russian intelligence agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, who were found unconscious on a bench at a shopping center in Salisbury on March 4.

    Reacting the accident, the United Kingdom and its allies have accused Moscow of having orchestrated the attack with what UK experts claim was the A234 nerve agent, without presenting any proof.

    Russian authorities have strongly refuted the allegations as groundless.

    Tags:
    Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Russia, United Kingdom, Amesbury, Salisbury
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