Well… that is probably how the story should read, isn’t it? Political and journalistic “correctness” aside, let’s look at the situation. It is really simple. Britain government, Prime Minister Theresa May and Britain’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson had a mutual meltdown over the last several days, deciding to go after Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in an astounding example of rhetoric without any coherent basis at all. The allegation is one that Britain’s own legal professions would tell the press never to do – to convict someone of a crime with only allegations, yet Great Britain’s own leadership has done precisely this, by accusing Russia of responsibility for the assassination attempt of former Soviet Spy and British double-agent Sergey Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal with a nerve agent identified as Novichok.
But the leap of logic is roughly as extreme as to say that if Britain made poisoned apples in the 1990’s and someone tried to kill someone in Russia with an apple laced with that same poison, it meant that Great Britain did it.
Even small children can see through the fallacies in this logic, but apparently grownups cannot, or will not.
And it appears that the Kremlin has had it. In a statement issued by the Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov, the language was quite blunt:
Russia has nothing to do with this affair,” Dmitry Peskov, presidential press secretary, told Interfax. “Any references to our president (in connection with the Skripal case) are nothing but shocking and unforgivable behavior from the diplomatic point of view.”
“Frankly speaking, in international practice we never encountered such behavior at the state level when very serious accusations are being brought up against a country – our country in this case – with such wording as ‘apparently,’ ‘most likely’ and so on,” the press secretary said. Such an approach “contradicts not only international law, but common sense as a whole,” he added.
The press secretary also expressed belief that “sooner or later the British side would have to present some kind of comprehensive evidence [of Russia’s involvement], at least, to their partners [France, the US, Germany], who declared solidarity with London in this situation.”
Moscow earlier asked the UK to provide materials in the Skripal case, but Great Britain refused to do this, even though Yulia Skripal is herself a Russian citizen, and should therefore be enough to mandate that Great Britain help Russian investigate this attack on its own citizen.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov plainly stated that to refuse this assistance is a direct violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention which states that the country suspected of being the place of origin of a toxic agent is to be contacted first in the event of that agent’s use.
One would wonder “why not?” At least one ought to.
But in the meantime, Russia is not taking this matter lying down. More, there is even a bit of humor.
The temperature of 🇷🇺 🇬🇧 relations drops to ➖2️⃣3️⃣, but we are not afraid of cold weather. pic.twitter.com/mand9YyoaE
— Russian Embassy, UK (@RussianEmbassy) March 14, 2018
Firstly, Moscow has opened its own investigation into the attempted murders of the Skripals on its own. In addition, they have also opened an investigation into the suspected murder of Nikolay Glushkov, a Russian businessman, which also happened in London.
And of course, when asked by a reporter from Reuters if Moscow would expel British diplomats, Foreign Minister Lavrov smiled and said, “We will, of course.”
Even US President Donald Trump is seen by some news agencies to be “joining the dogpile” against Russia, though as it has been noted elsewhere here on The Duran, Mr. Trump’s response suggests very tacit agreement, but in such a way as to leave plenty of opening, as the American president seems to have a cooler approach to this matter.
The primary allegation has this sort of structure:
- “Many trails point to the fact that Russia is responsible.” – German Chancellor Angela Merkel
- “It certainly looks like the Russians were behind it. Something that should never ever happen and we’re taking it very seriously as I think are many others.” – US President Donald Trump
- “There is no alternative conclusion other than that the Russian state was culpable for the attempted murder of Mr. Skripal and his daughter.” – UK Prime Minister Theresa May
- “…our quarrel is with Putin’s Kremlin, and with his decision, and we think it overwhelmingly likely that it was his decision to direct the use of a nerve agent on the streets of the UK for the first time since the Second World War…” – UK Foreign Minister Boris Johnson
But again these are allegations, and there is no conclusive evidence that verifies any of this aside from the point that Novichok was used. (That is assuming it was indeed Novichok, since Britain is being close-handed about sharing the data with Russian authorities.) At best this is circumstantial evidence leading to a wild assumption, and at worst it is conjecture much like that which has been the banner topic in the United States for 16 months concerning Russia and Donald Trump’s election.
All words, no facts. Makes a person feel a bit like this man…
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.