06:41 GMT +322 September 2018
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    Police officers secure a cordon outside the vehicle recovery business Ashley Wood Recovery in Salisbury, England, Tuesday, March 13, 2018

    Moscow Hopes London Will Start Dialogue With Russia on Poisonings' Probe

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    Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said that the UK and the US are the main "beneficiaries" of the provocation regarding the incidents in the British towns of Salisbury and Amesbury.

    During a Friday briefing, Maria Zakharova stressed the UK government's accusations that Russia had refused to cooperate in the investigation of the alleged poisoning incidents in Britain were "outright disinformation."

    "We did not even receive formal replies on many requests that we have sent. So, when Theresa May, the Prime Minister of the UK, says that Russia was asked to answer some questions, report, etc., and Russia behaved in a non-constructive way, lied and so on and so forth, this is not only untrue, it is outright disinformation," the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said.

    She further stressed that the claims that the alleged suspects in the poisoning of former GRU colonel Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury were officers from Russia’s intelligence service were "untrue."

    "Another attempt to draw the attention of the international community: states, public organizations and journalists — to these photos [of the suspects] and present them as photographs of people related to Russian state bodies is a classic example of disinformation," she continued.

    "The United Kingdom and the United States, which are basically the main beneficiaries of this entire global provocation, have such opportunities and significant achievements in this matter," she added, commenting on May's claims that Russian military intelligence was behind the Skripal poisoning.

    The diplomat further emphasized that London had refused to provide Russia with any information related to the Salisbury poisoning suspects and added that Moscow would wait for data on the alleged perpetrators from Interpol if it does not obtain details from the UK.

    "The UK side has refused to provide any data …  Apparently, if they [the UK authorities] do not provide official data to Russia, then we will have to wait for their request to the Interpol, and then wait for the Interpol to provide us with the fingerprints and so on."

    Hope for a Dialogue

    Zakharova once again reiterated that Moscow "firmly rejected" all "insinuations" about its involvement in the alleged poisonings and at the same time has expressed hope for a dialogue with London.

    "Despite the fact that all this was done in an unacceptable manner, we were essentially given an ultimatum, the Russian Federation continued the dialogue, in fact it was a monologue that continues with the United Kingdom. In the course of this monologue, although we hope that at some stage a dialogue will begin, a large number of documents have been sent to London," Zakharova told reporters.

    Zakharova told a briefing that May's speech in the UK parliament contained "peremptory accusations against the Russian Federation. "

    "The UK prime minister's speech in the UK Parliament on September 5, as well as the declarations that she had previously made on Salisbury and Amesbury, had an unacceptable tone," Zakharova said.

    In addition, the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman stated that Russia is asking the UK to help identify those whom London suspects of being involved in Salisbury poisoning.

    "It is necessary to identify these people, whether there are such citizens or not. This must be checked. This is a matter of verification. We want to do this as quickly and efficiently as possible, so we once again call on the United Kingdom to help identify these people."

    READ MORE: Kremlin Regrets London's Noncooperation With Russia on Skripal Case

    Earlier this week, Theresa May addressed the parliament to provide some updates on the purported attack on the Skripals in Salisbury in early March.

    "Based on the body of intelligence, the government has concluded that the two individuals named by the police and CPS are officers from the Russian military intelligence service, also known as the GRU. GRU is a highly disciplined organization with a well-established chain of command," she said, adding, "It was almost certainly also approved outside the GRU at a senior level of the Russian state."

    Her speech came after UK police released the images of alleged suspects in the purported poisoning of the Skripal family. The two men, identified as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, are said to be Russian nationals.

    On Wednesday, the British authorities said they would not formally request their extradition, adding that a European arrest warrant had been issued instead. Responding to the claims, Zakharova said that the UK's ambassador to Russia turned down a request to provide further details on the alleged suspects, including their fingerprints, which she stressed were a requirement for Russian citizens obtaining UK visas.

    Salisbury Incident

    On March 4, Sergei and Yulia Skripal were found unconcious in Salisbury after allegedly being exposed to a nerve agent, later identified by the UK police as Soviet-made Novichok. Immediately after the incident, the UK government rushed into blaming the attack on Russia — something that Moscow has vehemently denied.

    Amesbury Poisoning

    On June 30, an Amesbury couple — Charlie Rowley and the now-deceased Dawn Sturgess — were hospitalized after being found collapsed at their home, located several miles away from Salisbury. A week later, Sturgess died in the hospital, while Rowley's condition improved and he was discharged on July 20.

    Later on, Rowley told local media that he had picked up a contaminated sealed perfume bottle and gave it as a present to his girlfriend who sprayed the content onto her wrists.

    The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which has been conducting an independent investigation into two poisoning cases, has found that Amesbury victims were poisoned by the same substance as Skripals.

    Tags:
    Poisoning of Sergei Skripal, Russia, United Kingdom
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