During an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) regarding the poisoning of Russian intelligence agent-turned-British double agent Sergei Skripal, Russian ambassador Vitaly Churkin called the UK’s allegations that Moscow was responsible “completely unacceptable” and demanded to see material proof.
Churkin went on to call for the UN to unseal the contents of the meeting to the public.
Skripal was poisoned in Salisbury, England alongside his daughter Yulia on March 4. The UK claimed that they were poisoned with the nerve agent novichok, which was first synthesized in the Soviet Union in the 1970’s. UK Prime Minister formally accused Russia of poisoning Skripal on March 12 and threatened a series of punitive measures, including the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats on March 14.
Moscow has denied culpability in the poisoning and has offered to assist in the investigation.
Also during the UNSC meeting, US ambassador Nikki Haley echoed the British charges. “The United States believes Russia is responsible for the attack on two people in the United Kingdom using a military-grade nerve agent,” Haley said.
“The credibility of this [UN Security] Council will not survive if we fail to hold Russia accountable,” she added.
The French envoy, Francois Delattre, said that Paris had “full confidence” in the UK’s investigation. “I would like to express to the United Kingdom full support and complete solidarity of France,” Delattre said.
“We have full confidence in the British investigation to quickly shed light on the precise circumstances for this use of the chemical weapon.”