Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question on cooperation between the UK and the OPCW with regard to the investigation of Salisbury and Amesbury incidents
Question: How would you comment on the recent information regarding the OPCW experts’ visit to the UK upon the British authorities request for “technical assistance” in the framework of the investigation of the Amesbury incident?
Answer: First of all, we would like to point out that the Embassy has learned about the OPCW experts’ visit to the UK from the media publications. Unfortunately, the British side continiously refuses to launch a transparent and independent international investigation.
Despite the fact that the most recent visit of the OPCW experts to the UK relates to the Amesbury incident, which affected two British citizens, we are concerned by the attempts of the British authorities to link it to the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal. We would like to remind that shortly after the Salisbury incident Russia proposed to establish cooperation under paragraph 2, Article IX of the CWC. However, the British side has blatantly ignored the requirements of this article and categorically declined any interaction.
The previous practice of rendering OPCW technical assistance show that it is extended only to those countries that lack the professional expertise, equipment or technologies to reach the CWC goals. Paragraph 38, Article VIII of the Convention the British side refers to does not provide the OPCW Technical Secretariat with a mandate to conduct an independent investigation, formulate its own conclusions, or “independently verify” the findings of an investigation made by any other country.
Unfortunately, the British authorities continue to manipulate the provisions of the CWC, thus undermining the UK international standing.