Russia exchanged some heated words during the UN Security Council meeting in regards to the rising tensions between Russia the Britain. They spoke on the recent attacks against Sergei and Yulia Skripal on British soil, to which Russia has been seeking involvement in the investigation. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), a global chemical-weapons watchdog group, is investigating, and Russia has continuously been voted out of the investigation, being that they are the primary suspect.
“Allowing Russian scientists into an investigation where they are the most likely perpetrators of the crime in Salisbury would be like Scotland Yard inviting in Professor Moriarty,” said the British Ambassador to the UN, Karen Pierce.
Russia’s Ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, said that,
(Translated from Russian) “Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t even know what to say about this. It’s some sort of theater of the absurd. Couldn’t you have come up with a better fake story? We all know what the worth of British Intelligence information is, based on the experience of Tony Blair, we have told our British colleagues that, ‘You’re playing with fire and you will be sorry.'”
As these political maneuvers continue, the countries on either side have been taking measures on their own soil to illustrate their resolve. On Thursday, the Russian government expelled 60 diplomats from the United States out of the country, a clear reprisal from the U.S.’s expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats in late March, and the UK’s expulsion of 23 diplomats in mid-March. The departing Americans included 58 personnel from the embassy in Moscow, plus two more from Yekaterinburg. The Americans left with their families on buses and a minivan.
These tensions continue to rise as investigations in the UK continue to clearly point to Russia, and yet Russia denies any involvement in the biological attack on Sergei and Yulia Skripal. However, Novichok is a nerve agent fairly exclusive to Russian bio-weaponry, on top of the fact that they are notorious for targeting defectors, former whistle-blowers and others who once opposed the powers that be — even if they pose no current threat. To this end, Nebenzia said that, “Novichok is not copyrighted by Russia in spite of the obviously Russian name.”
Yulia Skripal’s is rapidly progressing, and she is apparently conscious and speaking; her father Sergei is also improving daily. Neither are in critical condition anymore.
Besides the obvious attack on two civilians on British soil, these allegations are serious because of potential damage that could have occurred. Det Sgt Nick Bailey, who had come to the aid of the Skripals just after the attack, fell seriously ill too. He fully recovered, but he and over 130 people were at serious risk of exposure and death from the nerve agent. Had a number of British civilians, not to mention a British Police Officer, been killed, the political reprisals would likely be escalating much quicker.
Featured image courtesy of the Associated Press.