The current investigation of the “Salisbury case” seems to be faded away in the media. There are two key versions of the poisoning of the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia with an alleged nerve agent in Salisbury, the UK.
- “The Russians did it” – pushed by the UK its allies.
- The event was staged – this one is provided by Russia.
The origin of the nerve agent remains the main issue in the incident.
On April 12, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) released a report, which confirmed the use of the toxic agent in question but shed no light on its origin.
A few days later, the Swiss state Spiez laboratory released results of its independent investigation concluding that, the substance used on Skripals was an agent called BZ, which had been never produced in Russia, but was in service in the US, UK, and other NATO states.
Swiss state Spiez laboratory in an internationally recognized center of excellence in the field of the nuclear, biological, and chemical protection.
The contradiction of these results triggered the further discussions to clarify the situation.
On April 19, the Russian embassy in the UK sent a request to the Foreign Office demanding that Russian doctors be allowed to examine Yulia Skripal.
Having no answer, Russia’s Ambassador to the UK Alexander Yakovenko concluded at a press conference in London on April 20:
“We have more reasons to qualify this situation as an abduction of two Russian nationals”.
“We get the impression that the British government is deliberately pursuing the policy of destroying all possible evidence”, he said.
Yakovenko raised suspicion of the sample being analyzed so quickly by the OPCW. It could happen only if the sample “was available beforehand,” he noted, suggesting that London might have handed over its own nerve agent for comparison. The probe by the OPCW “was conducted under control” of the British side Alexander Yakovenko stressed.
Bill Etheridge, a member of the European Parliament for the West Midlands region for the UK Independence Party told on the sidelines of the Yalta International Economic Forum that no one provided any “solid proof” that Russia was behind the poisoning, RT reported on April 21.
Ertheridge went on to explain:
“The British course of public opinion doesn’t believe it, so the behavior of our government and security services, they need to explain to use why they are so convinced that the great nation of Russia would wish to attack anyone in our country.”
The British Sky news TV channel published its interview with Vladimir Uglev, a scientist, “who played a key role in the development of Soviet nerve agents – and the Novichok programme”.
Uglev told Sky news that he had invented two of four substances that were later classified as Novichok agents.
“Some people had worked there for dozens of years and didn’t achieve anything but in just three months I managed to create two of the most promising substances”, the scientist said.
Answering the question about the guilty in this incident, Uglev stressed:
“You will never prove Russia’s guilt. Unless you can find the actual test tube that contained the actual poison”, the UK TV network BBC news reported.
Following the Uglev allegations, the Russian embassy in London demanded the UK to confirm or reject media reports that indicate a possible sharing of the Skripal case information with individuals, TASS reported on April 21.
“Yesterday we learned from the BBC that the self-proclaimed inventor of the so-called “Novichok” Mr Vladimir Uglev was sure that the Skripals had been poisoned with A-234. He comes to this conclusion ‘from all the spectrum data [he] was sent recently,’” the embassy said in a statement on April 20.
“This is quite an extraordinary statement. It essentially means that a private citizen has been provided with the information that the Russian Side has not been able to obtain from the British authorities for weeks,” the statement stated.
The further manipulations over the Novichok origin and the absence of the UK officials comments could underline that Britain remains at the same stance in the Skripal case. The British government intends to avoid the discussions as something allegedly went wrong in their scenario.