Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the new invitation of the OPCW experts to the UK

Question: How would you comment on the recent statement of the FCO concerning the new invitation to the OPCW experts to return to the UK to assist in the investigation into the Amesbury incident?

Answer: The Embassy is not in a position to comment on the investigation into the Amesbury incident related to the British nationals. Meanwhile we are interested in establishing the truth of what happened in Salisbury as the UK has again invited the OPCW experts to continue their work on identifying the nerve agent. Our approach is absolutely clear – we seek the truth and wish to know what happened to the Russian nationals in Salisbury and where they are now.

Unfortunately, we have to note once again that no substantive answers have been provided by the British authorities to our numerous legitimate and comprehensive questions. Over the last five months the Embassy has sent a number of Notes Verbales requesting the FCO to clarify as to how and by whom blood samples from Sergei and Yulia Skripal were collected; how it was documented; what was the procedure of sample collection; what assistance from the OPCW was requested; what information and material evidence the British side provided to the OPCW experts, etc.

The fact that the Technical Secretariat of the OPCW did not confirm, and could not confirm by definition, the country of origin of the nerve agent, traces of which were found in Salisbury, has not stopped the UK from whipping up their anti-Russian campaign. Shortly after the Salisbury incident Russia proposed cooperation under paragraph 2, Article IX of the CWC and to hold a joint investigation into the incident. However, the British side has categorically declined.

The technical assistance requested by the British authorities to “independently confirm the identity of the nerve agent”, unfortunately, lacks transparency and attests to UK’s arbitrary interpretation of the CWC.