Wednesday, September 5

British: You'll have to take our word that the Russians did it

See also Moon of Alabama's 9/5 report, The Strange Timestamp In The New Novichok 'Evidence,' published during the height of the uproar Mrs May set off today. As for the strange timestamp and other oddities Bernhard points out -- the British will find a way to explain their way out of this one. They always do.    

"Later in the day Zakharova told reporters that the UK's ambassador to Russia turned down a request to provide further information on the suspects, including their fingerprints, which she recalled were a requirement for Russian citizens seeking to get UK visas."
"Why not just Ivanov? Then you could grab every third Russian and say it's him." -- Viktoria Skripal, Sergei Skripal's niece, commenting on the two aliases released by the Metropolitan Police today along with CCTV images and the following photo.
Suspicious-looking characters if I ever saw some

Just in time to set off an uproar ahead of Friday's UNSC meeting to, er, 'discuss' Syria's Russian-backed Idlib Offensive, a discussion which I hope does not include U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley holding up pictures of dead Syrian babies, this news today from Sputnik:  
"We were right to say in March the Russian state was responsible," said the UK Prime Minister Theresa May, addressing Parliament on Wednesday with an update on the Salisbury incident [i.e., alleged poisoning of Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, England].
"Based on the body of intelligence, the government has concluded that the two individuals named by the police and CPS are officers from the Russian military intelligence service, also known as the GRU. GRU is a highly disciplined organization with a well-established chain of command," Mrs. May told the parliament.
She added that "this was not a rogue operation."
"It was almost certainly also approved outside the GRU at a senior level of the Russian state."
Evidence? We'll have to take Mrs May's word as evidence and besides she didn't say she had evidence; she has a body of intelligence. Sputnik picks up the story in an updated report:


Suspects Named

On Wednesday, the Metropolitan Police released photos of two men, identified as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, whom UK prosecutors have accused of being responsible for the March 4 poisoning attack against the Skripals in the southern English town of Salisbury.

The men, who traveled to London from Moscow on Russian passports and are suspected of being Russian nationals, are also believed to have used aliases, according to the police.

In addition to the photos, the police showed a series of still CCTV images of the two men traveling in and around the UK, including London and Salisbury, where they were shown near Sergei Skripal's home. There, the police say, the suspects contaminated the house's front door with the Novichok nerve agent. The two men are said to have been in the UK from March 2 to March 4.

Officials said they would not request the suspects' extradition [Russia has no extradition treaties], but that a European arrest warrant had been issued instead.

The UK Foreign Office issued a formal summons to Russia's charge d'affaires in London on Wednesday to confront him on the new information. The US ambassador to the UK tweeted that Washington stood "firmly together" with its British allies "in holding Russia accountable for its aggression on UK soil."

Moscow Demands 'Practical Cooperation'

Responding to the Met's new claims, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that the published names and photos "do not tell us anything," and urged London to "switch from public accusations and the manipulation of information to practical cooperation between law enforcement agencies."

Later in the day, Zakharova told reporters that the UK's ambassador to Russia turned down a request to provide further information on the suspects, including their fingerprints, which she recalled were a requirement for Russian citizens seeking to get UK visas. "The ambassador said the British side will not provide any materials," Zakharova said.

"London refused to provide any information at all about the case — their passport numbers, patronymics, personal details, etc.," Zakharova added. "We will proceed from the idea that this information will be transferred through the Interpol line," she added.

Echoing Zakharova, the Russian Prosecutor General's Office told Sputnik that it was ready to cooperate with British law enforcement on the Skripal case, but also said that it expected to receive material evidence of the possible involvement of Russian citizens.


Vladimir Ushakov, an aide to the Russian president, said ...   "We have heard about two names, but these names do not tell me anything, just as they don't tell you anything, I think. Moreover, there was a commentary by Scotland Yard that these names are supposedly fake. [So] I don't understand what kind of signal the UK is trying to send. It's difficult to understand," Ushakov told Sputnik.

Finally, Viktoria Skripal, Sergei Skripal's niece, commented on the names released by the Met: "Why not just Ivanov? Then you could grab every third [Russian] and say 'it's him,' " she said to Sputnik.



From RT Newsline:

"Britain to present Salisbury poison evidence to UNSC on Thursday – spokesman"


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