Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning reopening of Queen Elizabeth Gardens in Salisbury for the public

Question: How would you comment on the statement by Wiltshire Police that Queen Elizabeth Gardens in Salisbury, searched in the framework of the investigation of poisoning of Dawn Sturgess and Charles Rowley, is to be reopened for the public?

Answer: First of all, we are happy for the people of Salisbury. Reopening of the park, which has also been cleaned from litter, gives them an opportunity to return to normal everyday life.

However, we would like to stress that the British side still has not provided us with answers regarding the investigation which, as before, is being conducted in a non-transparent way. Ironically, on the one hand, Public Health England has constantly advised that the risk to the public remained low while, on the other hand, police have been meticulously searching even at those places that hardly could have been visited by the victims, including the children’s playpark. There have been no explanations as to what exactly the investigators were searching for, and whether the search has been successful. The same was true concerning decontamination –the public was advised to simply wash their clothes, yet caustic substances were used to clean the streets of Salisbury.

Such inconsistency makes it impossible to assess how these measures contribute to providing security for the locals and finding the truth about the Salisbury and Amesbury incidents. Meanwhile, they lead to intimidation of the public and create an atmosphere suitable for building up the rhetoric of a “Russian threat”, for which no evidence exists.