Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the British government calls to step up anti-Russian sanctions

Question: How would you comment on the news that the British government has been lobbying a new EU sanctions regime against Russian nationals allegedly involved in use of chemical weapons and cyber-attacks in Europe?

Answer: We have taken note of the respective statement by Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt of 14 October and the relevant media reports. These suggest that, faced with an imminent Brexit, the British government makes every effort to step up the sanctions pressure on Russia and to complicate as much as possible Russia-EU relations after Brexit.

Such policy is understandable. What is also understandable is that in the absence of real facts the British side has to resort to insinuations, guesswork and hollow assertions. There is no doubt that it is understood in the EU as well.

For example, as regards chemical weapons, the British government has nothing to offer to the global public except for their support for the White Helmets, who were actively involved in staging fake chemical attacks in Syria. The failed false flag operation in Douma is but one example of their activities. The UK, US and France used it as a pretext for their air strikes against Syria in violation of international law. Meanwhile, the OPCW has been unable to finalise its report on the incident precisely due to the UK’s obstructive position.

The same is true for cyber-attacks. The British side has yet to produce a single piece of evidence to support its allegations against Russia. Meanwhile, threats of offensive cyber attacks against Russia are being constantly voiced in London. It would be worthwhile to remind that it were not Russian but British secret services, who were caught red-handed using a “shy rock” in one of Moscow’s parks to hide electronic intelligence equipment. The British government eventually had to acknowledge that. These are real facts, while what we hear from London today is no more than unsubstantiated propaganda. A point in case would be the allegations of Russia’s responsibility for a cyber-attack against the Islam Channel. The incident took place three years ago, British secret services were in full control of the broadcaster’s computer networks for five months, but no allegations of Russia’s involvement came into the picture back then.

A lesson we learn form history and, more specifically, history of British politics and British secret services is that in matters like this no word is to be taken for granted.