Lavrov on British Skripal poisoning: hysteria and propaganda
We haven't seen a single fact
Moscow. Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov rejects parallels between Skripal and Litvinenko.
“Propaganda and hysteria” is Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s characterization of the British media outpouring that Moscow must be behind the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal. “We have not heard a single fact,” the news agency Interfax quoted the Foreign Minister. “We see only reports in which their colleagues [journalists – ed] with serious faces and pathos say that if it was Russia, then there will be a reaction that Russia will remember forever.” Moscow is ready to participate in the solving. However, there is no reason for “unfounded allegations,” said Lavrov.
On March 4, 66-year-old ex-double agent Sergej Skripal and his 33-year-old daughter, Julia, were found unconscious on a park bench in Salisbury, England. Inquiry so far has it that it was poisoning by person(s) unknown. Backgrounds to the motif are not yet known. However, there was a quick suspicion that Moscow might be behind the attack. Foreign Minister Boris Johnson heightened his rhetoric against the Kremlin. He brought up further economic sanctions against Russia and a boycott of the World Cup in conversation.
“In Russia there is still this old-fashioned KGB system”
The media are referring to parallels to the murder of British ex-double agent Alexander Litvinenko, who died in 2006 in London as a result of plutonium poisoning. Shortly before his death Litvinenko allegedly said that the Kremlin must be behind the crime. His widow Marina feels that the Skripal case is a throwback to the past: “In Russia there is still this old-fashioned KGB system. It’s still the same thing,” quotes the British newspaper Guardian. Lavrov calls the comparison of Litvinenko with Skripal “inappropriate.” Then, too, the Russian Federation had been accused, although the murder was never completely cleared up, the newspaper Vedomosti reports.
Sergei Skripal is a former colonel of the Russian military intelligence service GRU. During his active time, the British foreign intelligence service MI6 enlisted him. For the latter, Skripal collected information, including compromising material, about Russian agents in Europe. In 2004, he was arrested in Russia for treason and sentenced to 13 years. He was released in 2010 as part of a prisoner exchange.