Poisoning in UK: Media speculations hamper investigation / News / News agency Inforos
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Poisoning in UK: Media speculations hamper investigation

Context:

British media speculations about the investigation of the Salisbury and Amesbury incidents only hamper efforts to find the truth and punish those responsible, the Russian embassy in the United Kingdom said on Sunday, commenting on the Sunday Mirror’s allegations that at least two teams from Russia had been involved in the poisoning attack on former Russian foreign intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter.

"Regrettably, the endless stream of leaks in the British media space only fuel the anti-Russian campaign unleashed by the British government. Such an approach only prompts vain speculations around these incidents rather than helps establish the truth and punish those responsible. Frankly speaking, we have grown somewhat tired with daily publications of unverified, and often openly false, information, which deliberately misleads people. We are convinced that it is high time to stop deliberate efforts to fan hysteria and begin dealing only with the facts," the statement said.

The Russian embassy once again asked the British authorities to "give British citizens and the world community only reliable and verified information about the Salisbury and Amesbury incidents and make public the interim results of the investigation into what happened in March and June 2018."

Amesbury and Salisbury incidents

On June 30, Dawn Sturgess, 44, and Charles Rowley, 45, were hospitalized in critical condition in the British town of Amesbury, Wiltshire County. Sturgess died in hospital on July 8, while Rowley, who had been in critical condition, was discharged from the hospital on July 20.

The Metropolitan Police claimed later that the two had been exposed to Novichok, the same nerve agent that was allegedly used in the March attack on former Russian military intelligence (GRU) Colonel Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in neighboring Salisbury.

On March 4, Sergei Skripal, 66, who had been convicted in Russia for spying for the UK but later swapped for Russian intelligence officers, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were found unconscious on a bench near the Maltings shopping center in Salisbury, England. Police said they suffered the effects of an alleged nerve agent.

Later on, London claimed that the Novichok-class toxin had been allegedly developed in Russia. The UK rushed to accuse Russia of being involved, while failing to furnish any evidence. Moscow refuted the accusations stating that neither the Soviet Union nor Russia had ever done research on that toxic chemical.

However, the UK expelled 23 Russian diplomats and announced other restrictive measures against Moscow without presenting any evidence of its involvement in the incident. In retaliation to the UK’s steps, Russia expelled 23 British diplomats, closed the British consulate general in the city of St. Petersburg, while the British Council had to shut down its operations in Russia.

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