Executive Intelligence Review

FROM EIR DAILY ALERT


Russian Ministry Officials Say London Has Driven Itself into a ‘Dead End’ on Skripal Affair

March 21, 2018 (EIRNS)—Today, Vladimir Yermakov, head of the Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry, and Maj. Gen. Igor Kirillov, Commander of Russia’s Radiation, Chemical and Biological Protection Troops, gave an extensive and hard-hitting briefing at the Foreign Ministry on the Skripal case, and London’s unfounded accusations against Russia, to all foreign ambassadors in Moscow. According to reports in both Sputnik and TASS, all European Union ambassadors, attended the briefing. Britain’s Embassy was absent. Maria Olson, spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy told TASS that Ambassador Jon Huntsman would not be attending the briefing, but that a “working-level participant” would attend instead.

Coinciding with this briefing is the report from Moscow’s Ambassador in London, Alexander Yakovenko, that as a result of the British hysteria against Russia, Russian citizens living and working in the U.K. are being harassed and attacked, and fear for their safety and that of their children.

In their remarks, Yermakov and Kirillov raised pointed questions about London’s irrational behavior, its making accusations but providing no evidence, and ignoring the clearly-defined protocols established by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), for bilateral consultations in such cases. Russia, Yermakov said, doesn’t owe anything to anyone, and surely can’t be held responsible for the “acts of idleness of the British authorities on their own territory,” TASS reported. In fact, he said, London is getting increasingly nervous, as “they’ve driven themselves into a dead end; but in the end, they will have to answer the growing number of questions” about this whole affair.

Yermakov affirmed that

“either the British authorities are unable to protect from a terrorist attack on their territory or they staged the attack themselves.... If the subject of the investigation has not been determined for sure, and all facts are being intentionally covered up, while the real evidence may have already disappeared, since this has happened in the U.K. more than once, then it is not clear what issue the U.K. side has.”

While he recalled that on Sept. 27, 2017 the OPCW confirmed that Russia had completed destruction of its chemical weapons stockpile, General Kirillov pointed out that the United States has not yet destroyed its own arsenal of chemical weapons. General Kirillov also said that the U.K. has presented no evidence that the nerve agent allegedly used to poison Skripal was made in Russia, and furthermore, that in 1962, the U.K. obtained a patent for the production of organophosophorus VX nerve agent, and the Porton Down laboratory in London, only a few kilometers from Salisbury where Skripal and his daughter were found unconscious, was one of the key British centers conducting research into chemical warfare agents.

T