The British media is going further and further with its allegations that Putin and his agents are behind any foodborne disease and poisoning in the UK.
On September 16th, a couple fell ill after having dinner at Prezzo, a restaurant in Salisbury, meters away from the café where, in March, former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter had lunch before being hospitalized, in another alleged Russian assassination attempt, as reported by the Sun on September 18th.
Anna Shapiro – a Russian model and a model and event-space company director who was born in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod, and her husband Alex King may have been poisoned with strychnine, commonly used to kill rats and mice, according to the British newspaper the Sun.
As cited by the Sun, Shapiro claimed she and her husband was at the center of “another Salisbury poison plot.” And that “Vladimir Putin wants me dead.”
The Russian model said she found her husband collapsed in the men’s toilet and “foaming at the mouth.” Alex King, 42, is still fighting for his life in hospital in what security sources fear was a suspected rat poison attack, as reported by the Sun.
The incident put Salisbury on lockdown.
Anna Shapiro believes she was targeted “by Russian president Vladimir Putin’s assassins — just like the Skripals.”
The Sun further cited Shapiro who claimed that her father was a top military official under Putin. She left London after allegedly receiving death threats.
She told The Sun: “I was targeted by Putin’s henchmen. They want me dead as I oppose Putin and have turned my back on my country. Russia is capable of anything.”
She also claimed that when she was recommended Prezzo she laughed. Anna, who, according to the Sun recalled how the Skripals dined at nearby Zizzi, said: “I laughed and said, ‘I hope we don’t get poisoned’. She smiled and said, “Everywhere was safe now.”
“On arrival I ordered a florentine pizza and Alex went for sea bass, vegetables and baby potatoes. We also had two glasses of white wine.” Towards the end of the meal, Alex began to look and feel ill. He went to the restroom and when he had been gone for 15 minutes, Anna went to look for him. “I headed up and saw him lying on the floor near the sinks. He was face down and his arms were thrashing about. I thought it was a seizure and tried to get him up. But he was foaming at the mouth and pushed me off. I ran downstairs for help. I was panicked.”
She also fell ill, both of them were hospitalized and she was discharged after 24-hours. She discharged herself on Monday evening and was taken to a local hotel with cops on 24-hour guard.
Despite the Sun and Anna Shapiro presenting it as part of a “Russian plot,” the Wiltshire police, who are still investigating the case, have confirmed that it is “not being treated as suspicious.”
“Tests have confirmed that the two patients who fell ill in Prezzo restaurant in Salisbury on Sunday evening were not exposed to any kind of nerve agent. Following test results, at this stage, this is not being treated as suspicious,” the official Wiltshire twitter account posted on September 18th.
This all comes after UK authorities accused two Russian nationals, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, of carrying out a failed nerve agent attack on the Skripal family in March. The police released their images and claimed that both were Russian military intelligence officers — which the suspects later denied in an interview. The Sunday Mirror also further claimed that authorities are looking for two more participants in the “Russian plot.” A chemist with the alias “Dr. Novichok” and the handler of the two men, who is unnamed.
Following the “confirmation” that Russia was behind the failed assassination attempt on the Skripals, US State Department announced the imposition of sanctions on the country. The first batch of them went into effect on August 27th, with the second batch to come in effect early November, unless Russia fulfills specific conditions, such as “providing evidence that it will no longer use chemical and biological weapons,” as well as allow inspections by UN, and specifically by US experts.
On September 18th, Andrea Thompson, Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security gave testimony before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations regarding “The State of Arms Control with Russia.”
In her testimony she said that “Russia continues to violate a series of arms control obligations that undermine the trust the United States can place in treaties, including some that have served U.S. and allied security interests for years.”
Regarding the Skripal poisoning, her testimony shows no doubt in the certainty that Russia carried out the assassination attempt, despite there only being evidence that disproves it.
Regarding the incoming sanctions and Russian conduct, she had the following to say:
“Russia, too, is a perpetrator of chemical weapons use with its brazen assassination attempt against the Skripals in Salisbury, UK, in March using a novichok chemical agent. Multiple British citizens have been exposed to this same substance as a result of this deplorable attack, one of whom ultimately died from exposure to the military-grade nerve agent. Independent reports issued twice by the OPCW, most recently on September 4, confirmed the UK assessment in identifying the chemical nerve agent, novichok. Russia’s use of a novichok has made it extraordinarily clear that Russia only eliminated its declared chemical weapons stockpile and further substantiates the US finding that Russia itself is in non-compliance with their obligations under the CWC. Rather than accepting responsibility for its actions and changing its harmful and destructive behavior, Russia offers only denials and counter-accusations to deflect attention from its culpability. No one, including Russia, should think they can murder people with chemical weapons and get away with it. As you know, we imposed the first round of sanctions on Russia required by the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991. Following the fifteen-day Congressional notification, these sanctions took effect on August 22nd. We have been clear with Moscow that we will continue to execute our mandate under this law and that it must take action to disclose its chemical weapons activities. We are under no illusion, however, that Russia will take the steps necessary to rescind these sanctions.”
She simply says that there are no expectations that Russia will fulfill any of the requirements and the sanctions incoming in November are all but inevitable.
“In addition to that, she also points towards Russia’s other “destabilizing behavior” in alleged chemical weapons usage in Syria by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces. Regarding chemical weapons issues, Russia’s destabilizing behavior is also evident. Russia has stood in the way of every effort the United States, our allies, and our partners have taken to compel the Assad regime to stop using chemical weapons. Russia’s actions are a betrayal of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and UN Security Council Resolution 2118, as well as its commitments to the United States as a framework guarantor.”
Despite actual Russian conduct and the existence of proof or lack thereof, the sanctions will remain, and the incoming ones are almost entirely inevitable.