Britain on Wednesday accused two Russian nationals of being behind the attempted murder of a former Russian spy and his daughter — Sergei and Yulia Skripal — last March in the English city of Salisbury.
British Prime Minister Theresa May said that the suspects, who were identified as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, are officers of the Russian military intelligence service called the GRU.
Here is how Russian policymakers and public figures responded to the charges:
— Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova:
“The names published in the media, like the photos, tell us nothing.”
“We urge the British side once again to move from public accusations and information manipulation to practical cooperation through law enforcement agencies.”
— Russia’s representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Alexander Shulgin:
“Russia has nothing to do with what happened, this has been our position that remains valid. We’re seeing this as a provocation.”
— Prosecutor General’s Office spokesman Alexander Kurennoy:
“We continue to insist on cooperation with British law enforcement in this case and expect to receive the body of evidence that our foreign colleagues say they have. That includes the possible involvement in the attempt on the Skripals’ lives by so-called Russian citizens.”
— General Vladimir Dzhabarov, deputy chairman of the Federation Council's Foreign Affairs Committee:
“Britain took a very cunning path by not providing any evidence to Russia and not being willing to cooperate with Russian law enforcement agencies. They decided to directly appeal to international structures.”
“Britain is only concerned with one thing now: How to get out of this situation while saving face.”
— Sergei Skripal’s niece, Viktoria Skripal:
“I like very much that there’s variety, that one [suspect] is a Slav and the other is probably Tatar. At least there are different nationalities.”