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    Officials are helped out to take off their protective suits after repositioning the forensic tent, covering the bench where Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found, in the centre of Salisbury, Britain, March 8, 2018

    'International Provocation': Moscow Slams UK's Actions Against Russia

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - London's actions against Moscow in connection with the nerve agent attack on Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal are a mass international provocation, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Thursday.

    "Once again I would like to say that we cannot classify what London is doing anything other than a provocation. It is a mass international provocation," Zakharova said at a briefing.

    Moscow believes that the provocations around the Skripal case and chemical weapons are related to the situation in Syria, spokeswoman added.

    Zakharova stressed that the accusations of chemical weapons attacks had been actively pushed by the West in all international negotiations, meetings and conferences on Syria for several years, despite the fact that the country's chemical arsenal had already been destroyed with the help of Western countries.

    "Our Western colleagues claim that they [chemical weapons] are still used by Damascus. Russia has constantly said it was not so, that [these claims] were provocations. How can this issue — to try to remove Russia from the discussion on chemical weapons in the Middle East, in particular in Syria — be settled? It is very simple: you just have to say that Russia uses chemical weapons even in the United Kingdom," Zakharova explained.

    Sergei Skripal, a former Russian military intelligence officer who worked for UK intelligence, and his daughter Yulia have been in the hospital since March 4 due to exposure to what UK experts say is the A234 nerve agent. UK Prime Minister Theresa May has accused Russia of orchestrating the attack and expelled 23 Russian diplomats, while the European Union has expressed its solidarity.

    Russia, for it's part, has strongly rejected the accusations and offered to assist in the investigation. However, Moscow's request for samples of the chemical substance used to poison Skripal was rejected. In response, Moscow expelled UK diplomats and ordered the British Council to cease its activities in Russia.

     

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    Tags:
    investigation, provocation, Russian Foreign Ministry, Sergei Skripal, Maria Zakharova, Russia, United Kingdom
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