Philippine Daily Inquirer
MOSCOW: WE OFFERED TO HELP IN PROBE BUT LONDON DECLINED
MOSCOW— The Kremlin said on Thursday it had offered Britain help in investigating the nerve agent attack on a Russian former spy and his daughter last March, but had been rebuffed.
The Kremlin was commenting on remarks by British Security Minister Ben Wallace who earlier called on Moscow to give details about the original Novichok nerve agent attack after two British citizens were struck down with the same poison.
Moscow denied any involvement in the original attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia and said allegations of Russian involvement were part of a plot to discredit Russia.
Ready since March
The Kremlin said on Thursday that Russia had long been ready to help Britain get to the bottom of what really happened to the Skripals but complained it had been ignored.
“To my shame I don’t know who Ben Wallace is,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters in a conference call when asked about the British minister’s call for Russian help.
“(But) the minister knows very well that Russia proposed a joint investigation long ago and that this proposal was on the agenda. It was made long ago and unfortunately the British side is not showing any interest in such proposals.”
Peskov said the Kremlin was worried by the latest news from Britain and hoped the two Britons in critical condition would recover.
He said he was unaware of any official British requests to Russia for help in relation to the investigation into the new incident and that the Kremlin was concerned by reports that a nerve agent had once again been used on European soil.
British police scrambled on Thursday to determine how a couple were exposed to the same nerve agent as the Skripals earlier this year as fear spread in the region where both cases took place.
The couple were taken ill on Saturday in Amesbury, close to Salisbury, where the Skripals were found slumped on a bench on March 4 in an incident that sparked accusations against Russia from several countries.