MOSCOW, April 3. /TASS/. Russia’s relations with countries that went on about the London case Skrobala poisoned for a long time. This was stated by Russia’s permanent representative to the EU Vladimir Chizhov in an interview with TV channel “Russia 24” on Tuesday.
“A number of countries went on about London in this situation, others did not. I can say that if something is long and probably poisoned, it is our relationship with these countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States,” said a senior diplomat.
According to him, the EU supported the attack of the London to Moscow reluctantly, all decisions on the expulsion of Russian diplomats was taken at the national level. “The European Union, if picked up [Britain’s decision to take measures against the Russian Federation in the case Skrobala], reluctantly. First, at the moment when it all happened, relative to Britain as all the previous years of its EU membership, was on the continent quite specific. The only thing that decided the European Union in practical terms, is to withdraw for the consultation, my colleague, the Ambassador of EU in Russia Markus Ederer, and everything else was done at the national level”, – said Chizhov.
“Some countries have gone for London, the other did not. Of those who went, more than half did this quite formally and symbolically,” – said the Ambassador, noting that “in its relations with these countries, the proportion of the poison also came”.
Case Skripal and the expulsion of diplomats
4 Mar 66-year-old ex-GRU Colonel Sergei Skripal, sentenced in Russia for espionage in favour of great Britain, and his 33-year-old daughter Julia has been in Salisbury, according to the British side, effects of nerve agents. Later London made a statement that this substance was supposedly developed in Russia, and on this basis accused Moscow of involvement in the incident. The Russian side has categorically denied all the speculation, arguing that programmes such substances neither in the USSR nor in Russia did not exist. Without presenting any evidence, London deported 23 of a Russian diplomat and expressed other anti-Russian measures, after which Moscow retaliated by sending out RF the same number of employees of the British Embassy, instructing to close the Consulate General of Bulgaria in Saint-Petersburg and to stop the activities of the British Council in Russia.
26-29 March in solidarity with London, USA, Canada, Australia, France, Germany and a number of European States and NATO have sent more than 150 Russian diplomats. The Russian foreign Ministry last week announced mirror measures relating to the diplomatic missions of States that had adopted the decision on expulsion of Russian diplomats.
Separately, the foreign Ministry had summoned the British Ambassador in Moscow, Laurie Bristow, who “declared a strong protest over the provocative and in no way justified the actions of the British side, inspirowana groundless expulsion of Russian diplomats from a number of States.” “The Ambassador was informed that in response, the British side, in a month must by appropriate reductions in their staff to bring the total number of employees of the British Embassy in Moscow and consulates-General in Russia, in accordance with the number of Russian diplomats and administrative and technical employees who are on extended business trips in the UK,” – said the Russian foreign Ministry.