Putin Slams 'Baseless' Allegations of Russian Role in UK Poisonings
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Claims of Russia’s alleged role in poisoning incidents in the United Kingdom are baseless, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a Fox News interview on Monday.
'Fox News Sunday' anchor Chris Wallace asked Putin to comment on the UK investigation into poisoning incidents in Amesbury and Salisbury, According to Wallance, Amesbury incident victims picked up a bottle that was used in the attack on former intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury.
"We recently learned that two more people suffered from the same nerve agent that is called Novichok. I have never even heard the last names of these persons. Who are they?" Putin said, TASS news agency reported.
"What kind of bottle? What’s the chemical formula?" he continued. "Or, maybe, there are other reasons of death? Or maybe it’s the internal reasons within the United Kingdom, but nobody wants to look into the issue?"
"Now we just see the ungrounded accusations. Why is it done this way? Why our relationships should be made worse by this pretense? We want to build them with the UK as well," the Russian leader added.
"We would like to have at least some sort of a document, evidence about it, but nobody gives it to us. It’s the same thing as the accusations of meddling in the election process in America,"
On June 30, Dawn Sturgess, 44, and Charles Rowley, 45, were hospitalized in critical condition in the British town of Amesbury, Wiltshire County. Sturgess died in hospital on July 8, while Rowley, who had been in critical condition, regained consciousness and was questioned by the police.
The Metropolitan Police claimed later that the two had been exposed to Novichok, the same nerve agent that was allegedly used in the March attack on former Russian military intelligence (GRU) Colonel Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in neighboring Salisbury. Back then, London rushed to accuse Moscow of being behind the attack. Russia has been categorically denying its involvement ever since.
On Friday, the Metropolitan Police said that a bottle containing the Novichok nerve agent was found in Rowley’s home. Immediately afterwards, the Foreign Office said that OPCW experts would arrive in the UK the next week at London’s request to identify the toxic chemical, which had been found in Amesbury.