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Russian ambassador: Accusations in Skripal case a 'provocation'

Russia's ambassador to Estonia, Aleksandr Petrov.
Russia's ambassador to Estonia, Aleksandr Petrov. Source: ERR

Russian ambassador to Estonia, Aleksandr Petrov, said in a press conference on Friday that Russia in the Skripal case is accused for emotional reasons, and that not a single piece of evidence has been presented. The Estonian authorities believed the British without having seen any proof, he added.

Petrov told reporters that the accusations were a "provocation" the reason for which could be anything. He quoted U.S. President Ronald Reagan, who on a state visit to Moscow in 1988 said "Trust but verify." That is what is currently going through his mind as he is asking Estonian representatives whether or not they have been presented any evidence of Russia's involvement in the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal, Petrov said.

"The answer we've had is no, but we trust our British friends entirely," Petrov remarked.

In any minor dispute between neighbors anyone would call for solid evidence, the ambassador added. The same should apply to countries.

Petrov went on to call the poisoning of Skripal and his daughter Yulia "an act of terrorism" and said that currently Russia is being accused simply because of the emotional nature of the case. Russia immediately told the United Kingdom that they want to participate in the investigation, but there hasn't been a response, the ambassador said.

"Yulia Skripal is a citizen of Russia, so we have every reason to be interested in her fate," Petrov said. Meanwhile Russia hasn't received any information about her condition.

Former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned with a nerve agent in Salisbury, United Kingdom, on March 4. Both are still in hospital in critical condition. Skripal is a British citizen, his daughter a Russian citizen.

According to the British government, all signs point to the involvement of Moscow in the poisoning, and the Russian government has refused to clarify how the use of Novichok, a nerve agent developed for military purposes in the Soviet Union, was possible in the United Kingdom. The British government has said that Russia had the ability, motive, and will to commit the attack.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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