Russia urges UN Security Council meeting on British accusation about poisoning attack
Iran Press TV
Wed Apr 4, 2018 05:06PM
Russia has called on the United Nations Security Council to hold a meeting to discuss Britain's accusation that Russia was involved in the poisoning last month in Britain of a former Russian spy, an incident which has badly affected ties between Moscow and the West.
Russia's UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said on Wednesday that the UN Security Council meeting would be based on a letter by British Prime Minister Theresa May sent to the UN body on March 13 which suggested that Moscow was "highly likely" responsible for the attack on March 4 in the English town of Salisbury on Sergei Skripal and his daughter.
The UN Security Council convened a meeting on March 14 following May's letter and Britain's request.
Putin urges "common sense"
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday urged "common sense" in dealing with the aftermaths of the Salisbury attack, saying that such an approach could prevent a further deterioration of ties between West and Russia over the incident.
"What we expect is that common sense will in the end prevail and there will not be this damage in international relations that we have seen recently," Putin said Wednesday during a summit in the Turkish capital, Ankara.
The Russian president made the plea for calm hours after Moscow expelled a Hungarian diplomat as it continued to reciprocate Western governments' expulsion of Russian diplomats over the poisoning attack. London says that a soviet-era nerve agent was involved in the attacks on Skripals. Russia denies allegations of involvement and says the incident could have been orchestrated by certain intelligence services in the West to implicate Moscow.
Renewed face-off at OPCW meeting
Russian and British authorities again clashed over the poisoning incident at a tense meeting at the world's chemical weapons watchdog on Wednesday.
During the meeting of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague, in the Netherlands, British representatives slammed Russia's proposal for contributing to an OPCW investigation into the Salisbury poisoning.
"We will not agree to Russia's demand to conduct a joint investigation into the attack in Salisbury because the UK –- supported by many other countries -– has assessed that it is highly likely that the Russian state is responsible for this attack, and that there is no plausible alternative explanation," said chemical arms expert John Foggo.
The official further told the OPCW executive council that Russia was dodging all of London's questions about the poisoning incident.
"Russia's refusal to accept the results of the OPCW's investigation unless Russian experts participate in it suggests that Russia is opposed .... nervous about what the results will show," Foggo said.
Russian authorities, for their part, urged OPCW authorities to involve Moscow in the investigation "in some way or another".
Russia announced its readiness to cooperate with the OPCW probe during a closed-door meeting of the body which was convened at Moscow's request on Wednesday.
Russia's deputy foreign minister Sergei Riabkov, speaking in Moscow, said the failure to reach a solution to the Salisbury incident could have serious implications.
"We hope that at the end of this meeting, we will reach a decision which will lead us out of this impasse," Riabkov said, adding, "Otherwise we will find ourselves in a situation where we have even more reason to highlight our serious grievances with Britain and its supporters."
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