Russian embassy in Singapore responds to media reports

There was an intensive Western information campaign over the last few days, in which British Prime Minister Theresa May accused Russia of poisoning the former military intelligence colonel Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the United Kingdom.

A number of Western media reports on this incident were also published in The Straits Times.

In our view, the accusations constitute an unprecedented and flagrant provocation that undermines the foundations of our dialogue with the UK.

Having nothing to do with this incident, Russia is extremely concerned with the use of chemical weapons in the UK and stands ready to carry out a joint investigation with the UK.

We expect the British authorities to provide samples of the nerve substance discovered at the scene of the crime.

This is not optional, but is a binding provision of the Chemical Weapons Convention which has to be respected.

Russia stopped its chemical weapons programme as far back as 1992 and destroyed all of its chemical arsenals by last year.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons will attest to this.

Unfortunately, the UK refuses to work together.

Instead of completing investigations and using established international formats and instruments, the British government has opted for confrontation with Russia.

As of today, the UK has not provided any factual information on the case - neither through bilateral channels nor at the international organisations.

Despite our repeated requests, we were denied access to Ms Yulia Skripal, a Russian citizen.

We believe that it is absolutely unacceptable and unworthy of the British government to seek to further seriously aggravate relations in pursuit of its unseemly political ends, having announced a whole series of hostile measures including the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats from the UK.

By investigating this incident in a unilateral, non-transparent way, the British government is seeking to invoke Russophobia.

We are witnessing an attempt to shift the conversation to one with a political dimension, to use among other things the mechanisms of the United Nations Security Council in order to stoke the anti-Russian rhetoric and hysteria.

Russia will not let anybody speak with it in the language of ultimatums.

Andrey Tatarinov

Ambassador of the Russian Federation

Republic of Singapore

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 17, 2018, with the headline 'Russian embassy in Singapore responds to media reports'. Print Edition | Subscribe