If you believe the Russians poisoned Sergei Skripal, you should go away and shut up!

Theresa May with Russian President Vladimir Putin

Anti-Russian hysteria in the Western world reached new heights with the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter. Allegedly, Skripal has been poisoned by Novichok nerve agent, and all the blame was pointed at Russia.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said in the British parliament than Russia is “highly likely” responsible for the poisoning. Basically, using the term “highly likely” means the UK has no proof of any Russian involvement in Skripal's poisoning. Russians officials on the highest levels agreed to fully cooperate with the UK authorities, but the UK's refusal to conduct any kind of joint investigation and the refusal to give the samples of poison to Russian investigators raises suspicions that UK authorities have something to hide.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) will be involved in the investigation following the call from UK government. Since OPCW stated back in 2017 that Russia destroyed all stocks of chemical weapons, it is going to be interesting to see what their investigation will bring. Their task will be to investigate what kind of poison was used against Skripal, and not to put the blame on anyone. If they already confirmed Russia do not posses any kind of chemical weapons, it would be rather awkward from them to go against their own statement.

The Russian permanent representative to the United Nations, Vasily Nebenzya, at the UN Security Council meeting said that “in order to prove the exact compound, it needs to be compered to the standard”. Nebenzya continued with very logical point saying, “if they stated that gas is a Novichok-kind of gas, that a priori means that they have a standard for that substance – in other words they have a sample and they have formula (of that substance)”. The new UK's chemical weapons defence centre in Porton Down is little more than 10 kilometres away from Salisbury, and we can only say that it is just a “coincidence”, and any effort to link it with the Skripal case is just a “conspiracy theory”. Or not.

Probably the most bizarre statement comes from the UK's Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, quote:

“It is absolutely atrocious and outrageous what Russia did in Salisbury. We have responded to that. Frankly, Russia should go away, it should shut up. But if they do respond to the action we taken we'll consider it carefully and look at our options. But it will be wrong to prejudge their response.”

Firstly, Williamson acts like an offended juvenile using the immature phrases “Russia should go away” and “it should shut up”. He has been ridiculed by the British public for those statements, and honestly, if that is the normal pattern of behaviour and official narrative, it should be ridiculed. Secondly, he directly blamed Russia for Skripal's poisoning without any evidence. I guess no evidence is needed as long as you have “go away” and “shut up”. The Russian Defence Ministry described his statement as extreme intellectual impotence. I can certainly agree with that.

British media outlets reported the statement of Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson who went even further with the anti-Russian narrative stating that is “overwhelmingly likely” Russian president Vladimir Putin himself ordered the use of the nerve agent against Skripal. If we ask for the evidence of such claim, his answer would probably also be that we “should go away” and “shut up”.

It must be noted that if the Russian authorities wanted Skripal dead, he would be dead. He was arrested in 2004, and convicted for 13 years in prison for high treason and espionage in 2006. Finally in 2010, Skripal was swapped in a deal of  “spy-swap” with the United States. As we can see, there was a plenty of time for his execution.

In the interview with the TV channel Russia Today, Russia’s Ambassador to the UK Alexander Yakovenko stated:

“Nobody saw even the pictures of these people in a hospital (Skripal and his daughter Yulia), whether they are alive or maybe they are in good health. Nobody talked to the doctors. There is absolutely no transparency in the case”.

Indeed, one more example of the suspicion that the UK government has something to hide. As the Novichok nerve agent is supposed to be the most deadly ever made, how come Skripal survived such an attack? Makes no sense at all.

Wouldn't it be the best thing to present the undeniable evidence? Of course it would. But only if one possesses such an evidence. So, in other words, it is undeniably “highly likely” that the UK has no evidence against Russia whatsoever.

Meanwhile, the Russian Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case for attempted murder of Sergei Skripal's daughter Yulia and the suspected murder of Russian businessman Nikolay Glushkov in London. We shall see soon enough how will the UK authorities respond and will they cooperate in any way. Both were Russian nationals and the UK authorities are obliged to give answers. If they fail to do so, they might find themselves accomplices in murder and attempted murder. And by all means, the Russians will not go away, nor they will shut up.

Matija Lukač

Matija Lukač is a pro-Syrian activist and researcher of the Syrian conflict; he is also a Special Assistant and Contributor for the Middle East and Syria at the GlobalCIR website.