Embassy Press Officer comments on new data regarding the Salisbury investigation

On 25 September, the Metropolitan Police published new data on blood tests taken in March 2018 from individuals that might have been affected by a nerve agent in Salisbury. The samples did not reveal any traces of exposure.

Leaving aside the question of why the tests have been carried out only now, let us point out that the absence of traces of “Novichok” does not help to support the official British version of the incident.

But there is another aspect to the news.

18 months have now passed since Russia was subjected to high-level accusations, with major diplomatic repercussions. A year has passed since names and pictures of the suspects were made public. The UK authorities, claiming to have irrefutable evidence of their responsibility, have persuaded their allies to make unfriendly steps against Russia. Yet now the police is again asking members of the public whether they saw Mr Boshirov and Mr Petrov in the UK on 2 – 4 March 2018, or else whether they came across a Nina Ricci perfume box between 4 March and 27 June.

That these questions are being asked by the police may only be explained by a single fact: the investigation has never had any meaningful evidence of Russia, or individual Russian nationals, being involved in the poisonings of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, Nick Bailey, Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley.

Interests of British and Russian public, as well as those of a normalization of Russian-British relations, would be best served by an immediate publication of all data of the investigation that has led the British political leadership to mount accusations against Russia. Photos of the two individuals at an 8 minute walking distance from Mr Skripal’s place, or a sealed bottle found under unclear circumstances weeks after (if it ever existed), can no longer satisfy or impress anyone.

Russia continues to demand that the UK clarifies the situation of the two Russian nationals, Sergei and Yulia Skripal, allows them consular access, fulfills it obligations to provide legal assistance to the Russian investigation, and returns to normal diplomatic dialogue over the matter. We remain open to cooperation with British law enforcement bodies in investigating the Salisbury incident on the basis of the existing international mechanisms as well as principles of reciprocity and mutual respect.