RUSSIA ‘categorically denied and continues to categorically deny the possibility of any kind of involvement’, in the attempt to assasinate Skripal and his daughter and the latest incident involving Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess, President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters yesterday.
‘Two drug addicts were poisoned with serious drugs and the British intelligence services and the British leadership are now trying to interpret this incident as a continuation of the Skripal poisoning,’ said Peskov.
The new victims, 45-year-old Charlie Rowley and his 44-year-old girlfriend Dawn Sturgess were discovered in Amesbury, some 12km (7 miles) north of Salisbury. Both scenes, though, are located near to Porton Down, which houses a secretive government chemical lab. Although they were hospitalised on Saturday, the news was only broken on Wednesday, some five days later.
Tory Home Secretary, Sajid Javid said the agent was ‘similar to that used on ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter’ in March.
Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova urged police not to be led by the ‘dirty political game’ and said she was confident London would have to apologise to Russia.
In a statement to MPs, Javid said: ‘It is now time that the Russian state comes forward and explains exactly what has gone on.’ He added: ‘It is completely unacceptable for our people to be either deliberate or accidental targets, or for our streets, our parks, our towns, to be dumping grounds for poison.’ Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott backed him up all the way.
She concluded that Labour was giving the government its full support over this issue.
Deputy Chairman of Russia’s Federation Council Committee on Defence and Security Alexei Kondratiev announced that President Putin has repeatedly offered to assist Britain in its investigations.
Vladimir Shapovalov, political scientist and deputy director of the Institute of History and Politics of the Moscow State Pedagogical University, said: ‘It’s obvious that in this situation only one version of the story will be spun: The absolutely ludicrous idea of Russia’s involvement in this incident as well as the Skripal case.
‘Even though, obviously, if two identical incidents have occurred within four months of each other in the vicinity of one laboratory, Porton Down, which works with chemical weapons, any logical person would understand, that the traces should be sought in Porton Down, not in Russia.’
The Russian Embassy in the Netherlands suggested that the latest incident was a ‘false flag’ attempt to smear Russia during the World Cup asking ‘How dumb do they think Russia is to use “again” so-called “Novichok” in the middle of the FIFA World Cup….?