International News

    Skripal spy case: Russian ambassador asks to meet British Foreign Secretary

    The Russian ambassador in London asked the British authorities to organize a meeting with British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on the poisoning of former spy Sergey Scrippal in the British city of Salisbury.
    A spokesman for the Russian embassy said it was “a very good time” for a meeting to discuss the inquiry as well as “the overall issues of mutual concern.”
    The interactions and contacts between the Russian Embassy and the British Foreign Office were “totally unsatisfactory,” he said.
    The British Foreign Office confirmed that it had received the embassy’s request.
    Both Scrippal and his daughter Yulia were exposed to nerve poisoning called Nuvichuk in Salisbury more than a month ago.
    The British government said Russia was behind the attack, but Moscow denies any involvement.
    “We believe that the time is right for a meeting between Ambassador Alexander Jakovenko and Foreign Minister Boris Johnson,” a Russian embassy spokesman said in a statement.
    He added that the ambassador was ready to send a memorandum to the foreign minister and that the embassy hoped that “the British side will respond constructively and organize such a meeting soon.”
    The Foreign Ministry said it would respond to the Russian request in due course.
    The request came after criticism from the Russian embassy for the British government’s refusal to grant a visa to Scrippel’s cousin, Victoria Scrippal, to visit Britain.
    The British Foreign Office said on Friday that the visa application did not meet the requirements of British immigration laws.
    However, the Russian embassy said Sergey and Yulia “were hidden from the public.”
    “A stubborn refusal to cooperate or provide transparency and answer many questions means that Britain has something to hide,” the embassy spokesman said.
    Victoria Scrippel later told the BBC that she did not have enough money in her bank account to meet the requirements of the British visa.
    Scrippal was previously imprisoned in Russia for spying for the British intelligence service, but was released in a spying deal between the United States and Russia in 2010.
    His daughter Yulia was on a visit to Britain when they were attacked on March 4.
    The hospital, where Scarbial is staying in Salisbury, said he was responding to the treatment well and was “recovering quickly.”
    His daughter recovered consciousness and began to speak in the hospital itself.
    The incident caused a diplomatic crisis between Russia and the West after 20 countries expelled Russian diplomats in solidarity with Britain.

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