Russia Tries to Join Spy Poisoning Probe, Gets Rejected

Brits call proposal 'ludicrous'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 5, 2018 12:22 AM CDT
Russian defense ministry expert Igor Rybalchenko watches as media interview the Russian ambassador after a press conference at the Russian embassy in The Hague, Netherlands, Wednesday, April 4, 2018.   (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
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(Newser) – The international chemical weapons watchdog on Wednesday rejected Russia's call for a joint investigation with Britain of the nerve-agent poisonings of an ex-spy and his daughter in England. But Russia said the number of countries that abstained from the vote suggested many have doubts about Britain's allegations that Moscow was behind the attack and now plans to take its denials of involvement to the UN Security Council. Britain said Russia's proposal for a joint investigation received only six votes at a special session of the executive council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the AP reports. The council has representatives from 41 countries and there were 17 abstentions.

"The purpose of Russia's ludicrous proposal at The Hague was clear—to undermine the independent, impartial work of the international chemical weapons watchdog," British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said in a statement. The United States and more than two dozen British allies have expelled more than 150 Russian diplomats in a show of solidarity over the March 4 poisonings of Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia. Moscow has responded in kind. At the special meeting in The Hague, Russia and Britain traded accusations of duplicity and untrustworthiness. The British envoy said that a joint investigation, as proposed by Russia, would force "a victim to engage the likely perpetrator." Russia complained that it has been "pushed aside from this investigation."

(Read more chemical weapons stories.)

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