On April 16, Director of the Department for Security Affairs and Disarmament Vitaly Yermakov held a briefing for the ambassadors of the ASEAN countries to clarify Russia’s position with regard Great Britain’s unfounded accusations of poisoning double agent Sergey Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury on March 4 , as well as in the context of the missile strike on Syria on April 14 in violation of the UN Charter, rules and principles of international law.
He provided a critical assessment of the provocative statements spread by London and Washington with the support of their allies at various international venues and in the media. It was confirmed that Russia was not and could not have been involved in the Salisbury incident in any way. The nerve agent codenamed Novichok under the Western nomenclature had never been produced in Russia.
Serious concern was expressed that six weeks after the incident we still don’t have any clarity about what really happened to the Russian citizen Yulia Skripal, her whereabouts, whether or not she is well, whether she needs any help, be it medical, consular, etc. Britain either ignores the Russian Embassy’s inquiries, or provides perfunctory answers. Russia obtains almost all information about Yulia Skripal from the media.
It was noted that such a situation is at odds with not only the norms of international law, but also the ethics of state-to-state relations.
It was noted that any military action against sovereign states under far-fetched pretexts without the sanction of the UN Security Council would be unacceptable.
Russia’s position was met with interest by the ASEAN ambassadors. The participants decided to continue contacts both on the “Skripal case” (including through the OPCW) and other important matters of arms control, non-proliferation and strategic stability in general.