“It has become clear that we will not get access to the Skripals. They [the British authorities] just will not provide it,” Russian envoy to the UK Alexander Yakovenko told journalists on Thursday, following his meeting with Philip Barton, the Director General, Consular and Security at the British Foreign Office.
By blocking access to the Russians, London flagrantly violates its duties under a bilateral treaty on consular relations with Moscow, Yakovenko said. The true fate of the Skripals, meanwhile, remains unknown, he pointed out.
London maintains that the Skripals do not want to meet with Russian officials. However, neither the Russian ex-spy nor his daughter, Yulia, have publicly appeared to confirm it since the March poisoning. The Russian authorities never received any photos or voice recordings of the man and his daughter from the British side, Yakovenko said.
“We cannot conclusively establish what condition they are in as well as whether they are acting voluntary,” Yakovenko said, adding that the answers that Moscow continues to get from London are “empty and formalistic.”
The longer the UK protracts the investigation, the more countries see “the true nature of the policy conducted by the conservative government,” Yakovenko said, adding that “time is against London.” According to the diplomat, the situation has “put the reputation of the UK at risk.”