Remarks by Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, following UNSC meeting on the situation around the Salisbury incident
Q: When you said that there was a high probability that intelligence agents from some countries were behind it?
A: I said it was highly likely. I was making the same expression as was made against us.
Q: What countries were you talking about?
A: I did not mention any country, did you notice? Because we don’t make allegations. If we know something, we say it.
Q: Have you got anything about the statement of the UK? That you have the actual laboratory, where the poison was developed? «The Times» of London reported, that there is…
A: Do you mean in Russia? Now they are looking for something? After what happened with the tweet, after the statement of Gary Aitkenhead. They started to look for some new scenarios and they immediately invented a lab. It suddenly came up from nowhere and it was never mentioned before. They were referring to Yasenevo. This is the place where the headquarters of Russian intelligence is located. And that is ridiculous because this is the last place where something like that could be developed. That is very telling that they referred to this specific place.
Q: What did you mean, that they would be sorry?
A: Because if you do blasphemy, and it turns out wrong, a normal person should be sorry for it, right?
Q: Why Dr. Goebbels?
A: Dr. Goebbels was quite notorious for his statements that became kind of well known. One of his phrases was that a lie, repeated thousand times becomes truth. I was just trying to say that we see some similarities in what is happening now.
Q: Why would you think they would orchestrate such an attack? What do you think was the purpose of it?
A: I listed what the purposes could be. To delegitimize Russia, to discredit it, to put a question on it’s role in the international politics, in settlement of international disputes. There are many collateral nice things that could happen with this defaming.
Q: What happened to the press-statement, that you were putting to the Security Council? What does it say?
A: It is on the silence procedure until 5.30 pm. It refers to the Convention for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and calls for effective investigation. Nothing more than that.
Q: Do you think there is a dispute between Russia, Iran and Turkey now after the meeting in Istanbul about future of Syria. About the presence of the Kurdish forces, Afrene?
A: There was a discussion on the issue, but I’m not aware of any dispute.
Q: You called this attack, this whole thing a mega-provocation. Did you also call it a fabrication, because that word was also used in English translation?
A: Things tell us that this is a mega-provocation, but I didn’t say “fabrication” in Russian.
Q: Do you expect any more expulsions of the diplomats? Did you hear any other countries, Japan or something …..
A: No. I didn’t hear.