Tag Archives: Salisbury Attack

Three GRU officers under EU sanctions

The Council imposed  sanctions on nine persons and one entity under the new regime of restrictive measures against the use and proliferation of chemical weapons created on 15 October 2018.

These designations include the two GRU  officials, and the Head and Deputy Head of the GRU (also known as the G.U., or the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces) responsible for possession, transport and use in Salisbury (UK) of a toxic nerve agent on the weekend of 4 March 2018. Sanctions are also imposed on the Syrian entity responsible for the development and production of chemical weapons, the Scientific Studies and Research Centre (SSRC), as well as five Syrian officials directly involved in the SSRC’s activities. These persons and entity are the first one being listed under the new chemical weapons sanctions regime. The SSRC was already listed under the Syria sanctions regime.

Sanctions consist of a travel ban to the EU and an asset freeze for persons, and an asset freeze for entities. In addition, EU persons and entities are forbidden from making funds available to those listed. This decision contributes to the EU’s efforts to counter the proliferation and use of chemical weapons which poses a serious threat to international security.

The legal acts, including the names of the persons concerned, are available in the EU Official Journal.

Russian tourists warned against visiting Stonehenge megaliths

Russians visiting the Stonehenge Megalithic monument in England risk drawing the attention of British secret services searching for evidence in relation to the poisoning of former Russian military intelligence Colonel Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, since the famous site is located not far from the city of the Salisbury where the alleged poisoning took place, the Russian embassy in London said on Twitter.
Advice to Russian citizens: when planning trips to Stonehenge and Salisbury, consider the risk of unwittingly drawing attention of British secret services struggling to produce evidence of Russian involvement in the Skripal poisoning,” the tweet reads.

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova suggested at a briefing this week that Russians visiting the Salisbury area should be cautions and carry the telephone numbers of Russian diplomatic missions in the United Kingdom.

Declared poisoned Skripals cat euthanized

All pets of  Skripals are dead, according to the information delivered to Russian consulate by the UK government, the AFP agency reports. The UK officials are claiming all animals died as a result of nerve agent poisoning, but one of the cats found at home was euthanized to “alleviate suffering”. However there is no evidence that there was an acute need to destroy the animal, while two victims of the incident have recovered, both Julia and policeman are doing well, according to the authorities statements. It is not clear why no chance was given to Skripals pet.

So far no single piece of evidence on Skripals case was shared with public, or Russian diplomatic instances. The entire volume of information is delivered by the UK officials as a narrative without any documented material. The European Union expulsion of Russian diplomats followed in a gesture of ‘solidarity’ with the UK based on Brussels Prime minister Theresa May six pages presentation (including the first page with the title). No photographs of Skipals have been released so far, neither Russian Consul got an opportunity to have an access to them to offer services in person.

Russia: UK is “beneficiary” of Skripals provocation

Moscow does not have any doubts the UK and the US took synchronized actions against Russia in the situation unfolding around the #Skripals poisoning case, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said, according to TASS News Agency.

“We realize the strength of the pressure that London and Washington and we don’t have any doubts now they synchronized their actions in the NATO and EU formats subjected their partners to,” she said. “We do understand how inhumane that pressure was, as they exploited the principles of solidarity and implementation of a unified foreign policy course” – Russian diplomat said.

London and Washington are the beneficiaries of this provocation, and the expulsion of diplomats that followed it,” Zakharova added.

 

Assange deprived of internet

Ecuador has deprived Julian Assange of internet connection at its embassy in London, preventing him from communicating with the outside world.

The action is taken to avoid the WikiLeaks founder from interfering in other countries’ affairs, Ecuador said.

The decision was triggered by  Mr Assange criticising the expel of Russian diplomats, based on allegations of Moscow being “highly likely” responsible for the poisoning of Russian double agent and his daughter in Salisbury.

n 2016, Ecuador briefly suspended Mr Assange’s internet connection after he published hacked emails from the campaign team of Hillary Clinton, a move seen as having an impact on the US presidential election campaign.

 

Russian non gratae diplomats leaving EU

In a wake of Skripals case, upon London request to the allies and partners to demonstrate solidarity over “highly likely” Moscow‘ attack on double agent in Salisbury, Russian diplomats were declared personae non grata and subsequently expelled from EU member-states. However the most of them had to leave the U.S. to further detriment of relations between Moscow and Washington, which already had hit the lowest since Cold War era.

The UK expelled 23 Russian diplomats and suspended all planned high-level bilateral contacts. In response, 23 British diplomats were expelled from Russia. In addition, Britain’s consulate in St. Petersburg was ordered to be closed and the British Council’s operations in Russia were recalled.

 

On March 26, the United States declared 60 Russian diplomats personae non gratae. Among them are 46 diplomats from the embassy in Washington, two from the consulate general in New York and 12 more from Russia’s mission to the United Nations.

Germany, Canada, Poland and France followed suit by expelling four Russian diplomats each. Lithuania, Moldova and the Czech Republic expelled three diplomats, while Australia, Albania, Denmark, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands – two. Belgium, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Macedonia, Norway, Romania, Finland, Croatia, Sweden and Estonia each ordered the expulsion of one. While, Ukraine made the decision to expel 13 Russian diplomats.

NATO reduced Russian mission from 30 to 20 staff. Bulgaria and Luxembourg recalled their envoys for consultations.

 

Russia blames NATO for expulsions of diplomats wave

NATO is behind the actions of the European Union, using baculine discipline and seeking to demonize Russia, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

The diplomat blamed expulsions of Russian baculine discipline in the European Union, imposed by NATO, while participating in Rossiya1 TV programme.

“The European Union is an attractive political construct, with the powerful North Atlantic Alliance being behind it.”

“The task was to demonize Russia and what we are witnessing now is part of a long-term program of unbridled Russophobia. It is a matter of not only Russia as a country, it is a matter of Russians and the Russian people,” Zakharova regretted.

 

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