Statement by the Russian Embassy in India

Saturday, 17 March 2018 07:17

The alleged poisoning of MI6 agent Sergey Skripal and his daughter Yuliya has instigated the unsubstantiated accusation against the Russian Federation. Since the Embassy receives requests to comment on this incident we state the following.

1. The British side does not aim at bilateral interaction to investigate into the circumstances of the incident. The Russian Embassy in London has sent the notes to the Foreign Office requesting information about the health status of Sergey Skripal and his daughter and suggesting that it should provide access to the investigation materials, including the samples of the used chemical substance. In response, formal non-committal replies were received, which mean an actual refusal to provide information and interact on the case. It was publicly accompanied by an unbridled and clearly orchestrated campaign of denigrating Russia. 

2. The British side pursues the policy of ignoring the established formats and instruments of international law, including the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons (CWC).

It is common knowledge that the UK has directly addressed the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) presenting its own version of the incident. Therefore, it is obliged to proceed from the fact that according to Paragraph 2 of Article 9 of the CWC, “States Parties should, whenever possible, first make every effort to clarify and resolve, through exchange of information and consultations among themselves, any matter which may cause doubt about compliance with this Convention, or which gives rise to concerns about a related matter which may be considered ambiguous”. That is, the British side should have officially addressed Russia to get explanations about the issue, which gives it cause for concern. Such explanations are provided to the requesting State Party during bilateral consultations as soon as possible, but in any case not later than in 10 days after the request. 

If the requesting state considers the explanations to be insufficient, it has a right to address the governing bodies of the OPCW for support: the Executive Council and the Conference of the States Parties. 

Thus, the ultimatum issued by Theresa May to Russia to provide the required information “by the end of tomorrow”, was an absolutely illegitimate and clearly provocative step. Proper consultations are necessary as stipulated by the CWC. Therefore, the British side, which leveled accusations at Russia within the OPCW, should act according to the algorithm provided in the Convention for such cases. In the event that the British would like to use this opportunity, they will have to disavow their ultimatum and act in accordance with the letter and spirit of the CWC.

3. What happened in Salisbury confirms the relevance of the launched in 2016 by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov initiative to develop within the Conference an International Convention against Chemical and Biological Terrorist Acts. It is common knowledge that the British Side is blocking our proposals.

4. There was no scientific research or development of the so-called «Novichok» being carried out in the Russian Federation. Since the beginning of the 1970s, a number of countries had implemented programmes to create new types of poisonous nerve agent substances, in particular the United States and the Soviet Union - VX. 

In accordance with the Presidential Decree in 1992 the Russian Federation has stopped Soviet developments in chemical weapons. In 2017 the Russian Federation has completed the destruction of all existing stocks of chemical weapons, which is confirmed by an authorized international institution – OPCW. 

In the mid-1990s Western intelligence agencies took a group of specialists to the West, including former employees of the State Organic Chemistry and Technology Research Institute V.S.Mirzayanov, S.S.Dubov, G.I.Kazhdan etc. as well as certain records, and continued the resaerch in this area in the UK, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Sweden and the USA. The positive results achived by these countries in creating new poisonous substances, which are classified on the West under the general title «Novichok», for some special reasons, are confirmed and reported in more than 200 NATO open sources, in particular: («Department of Toxicology and Military pharmacy»);«Handbook of Toxicology of Chemical Warfare Agents»); («Novichok agent»).

5. In fact, the identification of poisonous substances allegedly used in the incident has been undertaken in Porton Down Science and Technology Centre under the UK Ministry of Defence, where chemical weapons, including this type, has been developed and produced.

The most likely source of this chemical substance's origin are the countries, where since the late 1990s to the present intensive research of those substances is being undertaken, such as the UK, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Sweden.

6. The British government in its evidence-free allegations against Russia on this case, investigation into which not only is classified, but also incomplete, is referring to the Federal Law No. 35-FZ on Counteraction to Terrorism (March 6, 2006), completely distorting its provisions, whereas in contrast it implies basic principles of counter-terrorism, legal and institutional basis for using the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in combating terrorism.

7. The British has not used neither opportunities, nor legal tools provided by the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters.


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