The Russian Embassy in Britain has published via Twitter a letter to Russian President Vladimir Puitn written by the son of Dawn Sturgess, a UK woman who died after purportedly being poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent in the British town of Amesbury.
The publication comes after the embassy’s press officer said that they are ready to meet Ewan Hope in order to “reply to all questions that he may have regarding the official Russian position” on the Amesbury case.
According to the press officer, the embassy also intends to provide Hope with a report on the matter, titled “Salisbury: unanswered questions”, which the embassy has prepared one year after the incident. The report contains a comprehensive account of information available to Russia.
The Embassy received a copy of Ewan Hope’s letter to President Putin. @Amb_Yakovenko sent him a copy of the report “Salisbury: Unanswered Questions” and invited to speak in person, ready to answer any questions. https://t.co/pPHgfaNLjl pic.twitter.com/jFLW15RDkf— Russian Embassy, UK (@RussianEmbassy) 6 марта 2019 г.
The press officer indicated the embassy’s deep sympathy toward Hope and slammed the UK government for failing to provide evidence and neither confirm nor deny multiple leaks related to the Salisbury incident, in which former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned in March 2018.
Hope’s letter to Putin, the press officer went on to say, is a sign that “even the closest relatives of those affected are kept in the dark over what actually happened, and they have to seek truth in Russia”.
“As for the Russian side, immediately after the incident, as early as 9 March 2018, we expressed our readiness to take part in the investigation. We offered the UK to join efforts of the investigating teams, and later sent an official request for legal assistance. All these proposals have been rejected," he pointed out.
Earlier, Hope told the Sunday Mirror newspaper that he felt “betrayed and let down” by the UK government, which failed to offer any help after the tragedy. The 20-year-old added that he had sent a letter to President Putin, asking him to allow UK officers to question the two Russian men that the UK police allegedly suspect of being involved in the poisoning.
“It is almost a year since my mother Dawn was killed by Novichok [nerve agent] in Salisbury and the pain never goes away for me or my family," Hope wrote, adding that Putin’s order to question “these men about my mother’s murder was the least she deserves”.
The UK police reported a "serious incident" in Amesbury on 4 July 2018, after couple Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley were exposed to an unknown substance and hospitalised in critical condition.
London claimed that the Skripals were ostensibly poisoned with Novichok, also known as the military-grade A234 nerve agent, and accused Moscow of staging the attack. The UK also claimed that it suspects Russian nationals Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, allegedly working for Russian intelligence, were behind the poisoning.
Moscow has vehemently rejected the accusations, pointing to the absence of any evidence and London’s rejection of its requests to cooperate in the investigation and grant access to the poisoned Russian citizens. Petrov and Boshirov, for their part, denied their involvement in the alleged attack, saying that they visited Salisbury for sightseeing and knew nothing about the Skripals.