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International community not willing to associate itself with UK, US over poisoning case: Russian ambassador

LONDON (Xinhua) -- The Russian Ambassador to the UK Alexander Yakovenko on Thursday claimed the international community is not willing to associate itself with the UK and the United States over the poisoning of Sergei Skripal after Russia’s proposal for a joint inquiry into the case has been voted down at a meeting of Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Wednesday.
“The international community is not ready to associate themselves with the position which was taken by the UK and the US and which was supported by the EU and NATO countries,” Yakovenko told a press conference.
Russia proposed a joint Russia-Britain investigation into the poisoning. At the request, the Executive Council of the global chemical weapons watchdog held an extraordinary session behind closed doors on Wednesday, and both Russian and British experts and officials attended the session.

Russian Ambassador to the UK Alexander Yakovenko addresses a press conference at the Russian Ambassador’s Residence in London, Britain.

Out of the 41-member OPCW Executive Council, a total of 23 countries had either voted in favor of the proposal or had abstained.
Yakovenko said the 17 countries who abstained from voting at an OPCW meeting Wednesday were under “very strong pressure” from the UK and the United States but that this also showed the international community did not stand on the British side.
“We’ve got 6 countries who voted in favour and 17 countries who abstained. It means what? It means that these countries were under very strong pressure from the first group which voted against but they take a real, that’s an honest position and they disassociate themselves with the position of the West,” Yakovenko said.
The ambassador said that those that abstained were “all Latin America, all Asia and all Africa, with 2 exceptions. “15 countries voted against that decision so basically they voted against transparency, they voted against access to the full information,” he said.
The ambassador said he regretted that the UK and the member states of EU and NATO once again refused to cooperate at Wednesday’s OPCW meeting and rejected a joint draft decision aimed at conduction of further investigation in the most transparent way.
Yakovenko said it was now UK’s responsibility to show the results of its investigation of the case to the rest of the members of OPCW. He called on the UK to be “honest” and “transparent” and to share all the information it holds to the rest of the international community.
The Russian ambassador claimed that the United Kingdom did not provide any reasonable explanation in support of its position to the allies.
“Today we witness that the British media again started to refer to unanimous ‘intelligence sources’ claiming ‘that they have pinpointed the location of the covert Russian laboratory that manufactured the weapons-grade nerve agent used in Salisbury’. As usual, no proof is presented, but, according to the reports, ‘it was overwhelmingly likely to come from Russia,’ he said. He said Russia needs international assistance to bring Britain to dialogue, which British government are continuously avoiding.
Also on Thursday, YuliaSkripal, who was poisoned in Salisbury last month along with her father, has issued a statement saying the “entire episode is somewhat disorientating”.
“I woke up over a week ago now and am glad to say my strength is growing daily,” the 33-year-old said in a statement issued on her behalf by London metropolitan police.
“I am sure you appreciate that the entire episode is somewhat disorientating, and I hope that you’ll respect my privacy and that of my family during the period of my convalescence.”
Relations between Russia and the West have been strained after former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious on a bench outside a shopping centre in Britain’s Salisbury on March 4.

 

(Latest Update April 07, 2018)


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