Reply by the Embassy Press Officer to a question regarding alternative explanations of the Salisbury incident

Question: How could you comment on the statements on Russia having produced “40 fictitious narratives” on the Salisbury attack?

Answer: These reports are themselves fictitious. As we have said before, Russia does not, and cannot, have an official version of the incident for the simple reason of having no access to any data on which that version might be based.

Russian discussions over this issue are going on in a UK-imposed information vacuum, filled with endless leaks in British media which turn out to be false time and again. One may recall how many times it was announced that suspects had been identified (each time with different names and in varying numbers), or how many ways of executing the attack have been discussed.

It is only natural that, faced with this situation, Russian journalists and experts, trying to find the truth, are discussing various scenarios. Let us repeat: none of those is official.

By the way, in May, the Foreign Office provided us with a list of the alleged “different explanations Russia has offered”. Back then, 28 had been “identified” and numbered. They included a broad range of ideas, including “The UK poisoned Ivan the Terrible” and “The operation in Eastern Ghouta is aimed at freeing civilians from militants and terrorists”. Further comments are hardly required.

The best way to put an end to speculations is to allow Russia access to the case file, so as to enable Russian investigators and experts to form their own opinion on what happened, based on objective data, and to provide genuine help to the British investigation.