UK nerve agent poisoning cases reminder of Iraqi WMDs tale, Russia says
Russia has criticized the US and the UK for imposing sanctions on Moscow over its alleged involvement in two separate poisoning cases by a nerve agent in Britain, saying Washington and London have failed to learn a lesson from their mistake when they used fake information about Iraq's weapons program to justify an attack against the Arab country.
The United States and the UK are guided by false facts while making decisions on sanctions against Russia in connection with the Salisbury and Amesbury incidents, just like they did in 2003 to justify their invasion in Iraq, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on Wednesday.
Back in March, British authorities announced that Russia's ex-double agent Sergei Skripal, 66, and his 33-year-old daughter, Yulia, had been hospitalized since they had been found unconscious on a bench outside a shopping center in the city of Salisbury.
Days later, they announced that both victims had been exposed to a chemical weapon purportedly developed under a secret Soviet program, dubbed Novichok, accusing Moscow of carrying out the attack yet declining the Kremlin's request for a sample of the chemical agent.
Last month, the UK counter-terrorism police also said that they had found two British citizens, a man and a woman, had come into contact with Novichok in Amesbury, a town near Salisbury. The police also said they were looking for possible links between the new incident and the Skripal case.
Britain has blamed Russia for the incidents, and together with the US and Western allies, has expelled dozens of diplomats. Russia has denied the allegation and responded with retaliatory expulsions. Washington has also recently announced its decision to impose fresh sanctions on Russia.
Zakharova slammed US politicians for joining the provocation involving Russian citizens in the UK and said, "We view decisions based on allegations as biased and politically-motivated.
"All this reminds of the tale of Iraqi chemical weapons. The same two countries - the US and Great Britain - made a decision back then [to invade Iraq] that was not based on actual facts and some fake information was added afterwards, she added, noting, It seems that London and Washington have not drawn any conclusions from the Iraqi lessons.
In March 2003, the US and Britain invaded Iraq in blatant violation of international law and under the pretext of finding WMDs. No such weapons were discovered in Iraq. A test tube presented by the then US secretary of state, Colin Powell, to the UN Security Council to justify the attack was proven wrong after the US invasion.
'US military budget reaffirms Washington's world domination'
Elsewhere in her remarks, the Russian diplomat also touched on the 2019 US military budget and said it reaffirms Washington's policy of world domination with reliance on military force.
The bill on the 2019 military spending signed into law by the US president reaffirms the policy of building up Washington's dominating role in the world from the position of strength," Zakharova said.
She added that the unprecedented rising of the US military budget to $717 billion was causing a destructive effect on the existing system of international security."
She stated that Russia has taken and would take the necessary measures to reliably ensure its own security by all available means.
President Donald Trump on Monday signed the 2019 US military spending bill into law, authorizing the Defense Department to invest $717 billion into military strategies that will target Russia and China.
The new act allows the Pentagon to spend $639.1 billion in base funding, while earmarking another $69 billion to fund wars overseas and some $8.9 billion for obligatory military expenditures.
Source: Press TV