21 Mar 2018 12:26

Russia's attempts to establish facts in Skripal case so far futile - Lavrov

TOKYO. March 21 (Interfax) - It is important to establish the facts with regard to the poisoning of former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal in the United Kingdom, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, adding that so far such attempts have been futile.

"[Japanese Foreign Minister] Mr. Taro Kono has addressed the events now taking place in the UK involving Mr. Skripal and his daughter. He said the most important thing in this story is to establish the facts, and we fully, 100% agreed with him," Lavrov said at a press conference in Tokyo.

Lavrov said he had told his Japanese counterpart "about the currently failed efforts to get comments on the facts from our British counterparts."

Russia had expressed hope that Japan, in its further contacts with the UK, would try to clarify "at least two facts: first, where Mr. Skripal and his daughter are and, second, why, as a Scotland Yard official said, the investigation will take months, but the British government has already given its verdict, without waiting for court decisions," Lavrov said.

The UK is refusing to give Moscow the answers to these questions, he said, adding that he hopes that "our Japanese friends will be able to get answers."

"We have affirmed that Russia not only is ready for cooperation, but insists on cooperation in full compliance with the provisions of the OPCW convention," Lavrov said.

"The main thing is for the UK to agree to this, as well," he said.