The National Health Service office of south-western England says that Sergey Skripal is still in the Salisbury District Hospital. However, there's no increased security inside nor outside of this medical establishment. There are no signs that one of their patients is a participant of one of the greatest international scandals over the past few years. Meanwhile, the former Colonel's daughter, Yulia, is protected by the UK's secret services, which they justify with the necessity to ensure her safety. Russian representatives still haven't been able to meet with her. Scotland Yard said that Yulia Skripal has refused to see Russian diplomats.
Aleksandr Yakovenko, Ambassador of Russia to the United Kingdom: We can't verify it, we just see that they are hidden or kidnapped. What's happening to Yulia and Sergey Skripal is a complicated situation.
— Do you still consider this to be a kidnapping case?
— You can call it kidnapping or anything else you want. But, our Embassy hasn't had access to these Russian citizens for two months.
Yulia's cousin, Victoria Skripal, still hasn't obtained a visa and can't go to England. She hasn't heard from Yulia since their brief phone conversation in April.
— Have you contacted her in the past few days?
Victoria Skripal: Contacted whom? She isn't answering her phone, and I have no other means of contacting her. I don't know, maybe she's contacted someone else, we just don't know about it.
Desperate Victoria has reached out to her cousin via social networks, offering her help. Yulia's dog is still in Moscow, her car and her apartment are unsupervised.
"I know I have no right to get involved in your business, but I worry about you and your dad. I also worry about Noir, he's in a kennel now, which needs to be paid for and his fate is to be determined. I'm willing to take him home with me and care for him until you return".
However, all the news we have about Yulia Skripal is that there's someone who tweets on her behalf. Also, she has allegedly contacted the kennel in Moscow personally.
Victoria Skripal: «If these phone calls really did take place, and Yulia told them not to give her dog to anyone, and she'll pick him up eventually, it's a direct confirmation that she wants to return to Russia».
It seems that the UK has forgotten about the Skripals' poisoning. There aren't any press releases about the investigation or the usual leaks to the press.
Aleksandr Yakovenko: «If we're specifically discussing security issues, the media receives a signal that the position in their publication is in agreement with the security agencies. As for the Skripals, shortly after the NSC decided that there had been enough publications and leaks, they'd decided to remove this topic from the British press».
However, this doesn't mean that official London is trying to hush up the scandal. On the contrary, the UK plans to increase pressure on Russia. This was published in The Guardian with a reference to the Foreign Office.
"British diplomats plan to use four major summits this year — the G7, the G20, NATO, and the EU — to try to deepen the allegiance against Russia hastily built by the Foreign Office after the poisoning of the former Russian double agent Sergey Skripal in Salisbury in March".
This week, the British Parliament passed the so-called Magnitsky Act as an addendum to their Money Laundering Regulations. This act allows the imposition of sanctions against foreign investors whom the UK can accuse of violating human rights. The law isn't formally addressed to Russia, but it's exactly how it's perceived in London.
"It's hard to persuade even your closest allies to take tangible measures with impact if we're not prepared to sacrifice some of the Russian investment in our own country. Government statements on this have been either ambiguous or all over the place".
Sergey Kapchuk, an entrepreneur: «The Anglo-Saxons haven't changed over the centuries. They actively give shelter to people with money, and at the right moment, deprive them of their lives and capital in the interest of the British Crown».
Sergey Kapchuk, an entrepreneur who received political asylum in the UK back in the day, is currently expecting documents that will let him go back to Russia. Sergey says he decided to flee England after British journalists tried to declare him the Kremlin's next target.
Sergey Kapchuk:"For them, interests of the state come first. All that talk about human rights, freedom of speech, it's just words. I speak from personal experience, they're all just words that aren't backed up by anything. You have no chance to reach out to the British media if they're all workings towards the same goal".
However, there's nothing there besides anti-Russian hysteria and total lack of facts. Even more, any attempt to add fuel to the fire eventually results in self-exposure. In this week's interview for The New York Times, the Director-General of OPCW, Ahmet Üzümcü said that 50-100 grams of A-234 (Novichok) were used in the Salisbury poisoning. His words have left experts perplexed.
Leonid Rink, Doctor of Chemistry: «If there were 50-100 grams of pure A-234, it would definitely be enough to poison the entire city of Salisbury. If its liquid form were used, it would've resulted in a catastrophe with the demolition of the entire city».
As a result, the OPCW's Spokesperson had to disprove his boss's words.
"The OPCW would not be able to estimate or determine the amount of nerve agent that was used in Salisbury on March 4th, 2018. The quality should probably be measured in milligrams. However, the analysis of samples collected by the OPCW Technical Assistance Visit team that the chemical substance found was of high purity, persistent and resistant to weather conditions".
The passage about Novichok's water resistance is anathema to the words of the chemist Vil Mirzayanov. He is the one who published the formula of this warfare agent in the West in the 1990s. Eventually, this formula was patented in the US.
Vil Mirzayanov, Doctor of Chemistry: «A-234, like other Novichok-like substances, is rather moisture sensitive. On the day of the attack, the weather in Salisbury was quite foggy, which would've made this substance degrade, but it never happened for some reason».
British Prime Minister Theresa May's statement that Novichok has been exclusively manufactured in Russia was disproved this week by Czech President, Miloš Zeman. He admitted that an identical nerve agent had been manufactured by his own country's military chemists.
Miloš Zeman, Czech President: «The things is that small amounts of Novichok were manufactured and tested, and then neutralized in our country. It'd be hypocritical to deny this fact.»
Russian MFA's Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova doubts NATO's leadership, of which Czechia is a member of, didn't know anything about such experiments.
Maria Zakharova, Russian MFA's Spokeswoman: «What about NATO? The North Atlantic Alliance Organization didn't know that Novichok had been synthesized in Czechia just a year ago? Do you believe that? Of course, NATO simply didn't know about this. This raises another good question. Who, how, and on what level from NATO was in charge of these programs? Other countries would like to hear the Alliance's official statement on this, on which other NATO countries conduct such studies? We await an answer from the other countries that we've mentioned, countries that have and had the opportunity to manufacture Novichok».
Russian experts believe that about twenty countries are capable of producing Novichok. The UK is one of them. One of the few speeches by the director of the secret Porton Down lab had resulted in exposing a lie told by the UK's Foreign Minister, Boris Johnson. The latter had stated that British experts had determined which country the nerve agent in Salisbury had been manufactured in. Although he was caught in a direct lie, Johnson intends to continue to convince partners that Russia is to blame for all.
Currently, this is a common task for the British Cabinet. The government with numerous internal controversies acts in unity, concentrating all of its forces.
Aleksandr Khabarov, Ilya Mordyukov, Vesti News of the Week, UK