23 Mar 2018 22:24

Russia says at meeting with CSTO ambassadors it has no relation to Skripal incident - Foreign Ministry

MOSCOW. March 23 (Interfax) - Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry Department for Non-proliferation and Arms Control (DNAC) Vladimir Yermakov has held a briefing for the ambassadors of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) countries to clarify Russia's position on the poisoning of former intelligence officer Sergei Skripal in the United Kingdom.

"The provocative insinuations persistently circulated by London on various international forums and in the media have been deflected. Russia reaffirmed that it has no relation and cannot have any relation in principle to the incident in Salisbury. The nerve agent under the codename of Novichok has never been manufactured in the Russian Federation," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"Russia's CSTO partners in general understood its position. The participants in the meeting shared the opinion that they should continue close contacts on the case of Skripals," it said.

Russia expressed "serious concern that an attempt to kill Russian citizen Yulia Skripal was made in the United Kingdom territory," it said.

"The Russian Investigative Committee opened a criminal case into this fact on March 18 this year. It was pointed out that the UK violated not only humanitarian law but also the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. Russian representatives have been denied access to Yulia Skripal to provide her with the necessary assistance," it said.