PRESIDENT Donald Trump was reluctant to expel Russian spies as punishment for the alleged ‘poisoning’ of a former Russian spy and his daughter in Salisbury earlier this year.
Two Russian nationals have been named as suspects in the attempted murder of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia according to the BBC.
The men, allegedly using the names Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, have been accused of being officers from Russia’s military intelligence service, said Theresa May.
Scotland Yard and the CPS claim there is enough evidence to charge the men.
Serious doubts still remain whether the spy poisoning was really conducted by Russia and they have denied any involvement.
Many question the motives of Russia if it was really Putin behind the poisoning.
Russia held the Fifa World Cup following the spy poisoning, and many critics question why Russia would do such a thing when they had so much to lose.
The Russian Embassy in London said: “Since the very beginning, the Russian side has offered the UK to cooperate in the investigation on the 4 March Salisbury incident.
We suggested to launch a joint investigation, we submitted a request for legal assistance in the framework of the criminal case opened in Russia, and we expressed our willingness to cooperate under established OPCW procedures. These offers remain on the table.”
The Russians added: “Unfortunately, until now we have not seen any willingness on the British side to engage with a view to establishing the truth.”
“As the UK rightfully notes, the Russian Constitution prohibits extraditing Russian citizens to foreign states. Yet existing mechanisms of international cooperation on criminal cases are not limited to extradition. Being well aware of this, the British side has chosen to publish names and photos of the “suspects”, but has not provided us with any official request for assistance or any additional information (passport numbers, details of visa applications etc.).”
“As before, we have no access to the case file. No further information was given during today’s meeting at the Foreign Office, where the Chargé d’affaires a.i., Ivan Volodin, was summoned to.”
“We reiterate our call upon the UK authorities to give up politicised public accusations and the policy of classifying evidence, to return to the legal framework and to engage properly with the Russian side. We will also continue to demand that the UK delivers on its obligations under the Consular Conventions by allowing access of Russian representatives to Sergei and Yulia Skripal, whose situation over the last six months amounts to forcible isolation by the British authorities.”
Speaking in the Commons, Prime Minister Theresa May said the government had concluded, from intelligence provided by UK agencies, that the men were part of the GRU intelligence service.
The poisoning was “not a rogue operation” and was “almost certainly” approved at a senior level of the Russian state, she said.
Following the alleged nerve attack, U.S. President Donald Trump was reportedly “reluctant” to expel so many of Mr. Putin’s spies as punishment.
A report by a White House insider published in the New York Times today revealed that Mr Trump allegedly “complained,” for weeks about senior staff members letting him get boxed into further confrontation with Russia, and he expressed frustration that the United States continued to impose sanctions on the country for its behaviour.”
Trump’s national security team pushed for the sanctions and pushed Mr Trump on actions against Moscow.