Comment of the Embassy concerning the incident with the Russian citizens Sergei and Yulia Skripal

On 22 November the Embassy sent another Note Verbale to the FCO concerning the Salisbury incident. In this Note we have pointed at the clear violation of international law by the British side and the defiance of the legitimate right of the Russian Federation to get full information about Russian citizens, who have been kept in isolation and under full control of the British authorities. They remain out of the public eye in an unknown location, are deprived of the right to communicate with their relatives, friends, journalists and Russian officials without obstruction, may not move freely. The Embassy has reminded that the British authorities had rejected a number of official Russian proposals concerning cooperation in this case, including the request by the Russia Prosecutor General’s Office for legal assistance, refused to provide consular access to Sergei and Yulia Skripal in violation of the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and the bilateral 1965 Consular Convention, and ignored Russia’s proposal to establish cooperation under paragraph 2, Article IX of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Over almost nine months since the incident, the Embassy has sent several dozens Notes Verbales and letters to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Home Office and the Police with numerous questions concerning the whereabouts of the Russian citizens, symptoms of their poisoning, methods of medical treatment applied to them, course of the police investigation, samples of the biomaterials and chemical agent allegedly used in Salisbury, and evidence which could help establish the truth.

Russia will continue to demand that the British authorities present all information on the incident, provide consular access to the Russian citizens and launch a transparent investigation in cooperation with Russian representatives.