23:02 GMT04 August 2021
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    Former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious on a bench at a Salisbury shopping centre on 4 March. London quickly accused the Kremlin of facilitating the alleged chemical weapons attack on the Skripals, while Moscow, in turn, stressed that the UK is yet to present any proof of Russian involvement.

    Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Director Sergei Naryshkin has stated that London is destroying evidence related to the Skripal case.

    "This is a dirty provocation by British authorities because it is clear that they constantly try to cover up traces of the crime that was committed and destroy evidence. They started doing so the moment the incident took place. Not to mention the fact that they are keeping mum on where our citizens Yulia Skripal and her father are now. Why are they hiding [them]?" Naryshkin said when asked to comment on sanctions against two Russian nationals over their alleged role in the Skripal case.

    In early December, Naryshkin said that the truth can only be uncovered through a professional, joint investigation by both Russia and the UK, adding that the British side has rejected all Russian offers to help with the probe.

    According to him, the British investigation into the Skripal case currently looks like "a farce, a provocation."

    READ MORE: UK Provided 'Extremely Flimsy' Evidence in Skripal Poisoning Case — Journo

    On 19 December, the US Treasury Department said that Washington had sanctioned Russian nationals Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov over their alleged involvement in the nerve agent attack on the Skripals.

    Earlier, the UK-based Bellingcat project claimed that it had identified Boshirov as Russian military intelligence colonel Anatoliy Chepiga and suggested that Petrov was actually a military doctor, named Alexander Mishkin.

    For her part, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova described the publication about the alleged identity of the suspects as "fake news" aimed at diverting public attention from what happened in Salisbury.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in turn said the fact that it remains unclear where the Skripals currently are proves that the UK government and intelligence has "something to hide" about the matter.

    READ MORE: The Skripal Case: Fifteen Facts and Some Logical Conclusions

    On 4 March, Sergei Skripal and his daughter were found unconscious on a bench at a shopping centre in Salisbury. London said they had been subject to poisoning with a military-grade nerve agent. London accused Moscow of staging the attack, saying it suspected Russian nationals Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov of executing the poisoning, claiming they worked for Russia's GRU intelligence agency.

    However, Moscow has repeatedly noted that London has not provided any evidence proving its role in the poisoning. Petrov and Boshirov, in their turn, denied their involvement in the attack in an interview with the RT broadcaster. They said they indeed visited Salisbury in spring, but arrived there for tourist purposes, noting they work in the fitness industry.


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    Russia, Britain, Sergei Naryshkin, Sergei Skripal, Yulia Skripal, Poisoning of Sergei Skripal, sanctions, evidence, citizens, crime
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