Russian ambassador to Novichok nerve agent attack survivor: Moscow not responsible as not all victims died

British police guarding the tarpaulin-covered former home of Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, on March 4, 2019.
British police guarding the tarpaulin-covered former home of Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, on March 4, 2019.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (DPA) - Moscow could not be behind last year's nerve agent attack in the British city of Salisbury because not all of the victims died, the Russian ambassador has told one survivor, according to the Sunday Mirror.

The paper arranged for Mr Charlie Rowley to meet Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko on Saturday (April 6).

Mr Rowley's partner Dawn Sturgess died after handling a perfume bottle that had apparently held the nerve agent Novichok and which was used to attack ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia on March 4, 2018. Mr Skripal and his daughter survived.

Mr Rowley, who had found the perfume bottle months after the attack and gave it to his girlfriend, also survived but spent 10 days in a coma and has ongoing health problems including loss of eye sight.

"I went along to ask them, 'Why did your country kill my girlfriend?' But I didn't really get any answers. I just got Russian propaganda," he told the Mirror.

"I liked the ambassador, but I thought some of what he said trying to justify Russia not being responsible was ridiculous... The ambassador kept saying the substance definitely wasn't the Novichok they had made because if it was it would have killed everyone."

Britain has accused two officers from Russia's military intelligence agency, the GRU, of being responsible for the poisonings.

The two men claimed in an interview with Russia's state broadcaster RT that they were visiting Britain as tourists and wanted to see Salisbury Cathedral and the nearby Stonehenge prehistoric monument.