Foreign Ministry statement

Friday, 23 March 2018 13:37

The conclusions issued by the European Council on March 22 regarding the chemical incident in Salisbury are regrettable. The wording used by the European Council attributing Russia with the responsibility for the incident solely on the grounds of “no plausible alternative explanation” essentially constitutes an accusation against us without giving any evidence. The European Council’s readiness to agree with the British version of the events in Salisbury can only be explained by the desire to support UK Prime Minister Theresa May who found herself in a difficult situation. It should be noted that every day more and more discrepancies emerge in the said scenario, from an unprecedented swiftness with which the British identified the ‘Russian origin’ of the toxins found at the site of the attempted murder of Sergey Skripal and his daughter to the fact of chemical laboratory employees in Porton Down being pressured by British officials which was revealed by the media.

We have not yet received any reasoning from Great Britain that would demand “answers” from us with respect to the tragedy in Salisbury as the European Council proposes. We are absolutely ready to work together with Britain; however, our British counterparts are avoiding cooperation. We see further exchange of opinions possible within the competent international body of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). We believe that if EU leaders had a sincere desire to help the investigation they would prompt our British partners to begin constructive consultations with Russia according to applicable OPCW procedures. Even more so, because support of the dialogue and cooperation in the interests of strengthening international non-proliferation instruments such as the Chemical Weapons Convention, is expressly envisaged not only in the 2016 EU Global Strategy but in the 2005 roadmap on the Russia-EU common external security space too.

It is regretful that instead, the European Union prefers to be at the vanguard of yet another anti-Russian campaign triggered by London and its overseas allies with an obvious goal to put another obstacle in the way of normalising the situation on the European continent.

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