China calls on Russia, UK to solve poison case

By Zhang Hui Source:Global Times Published: 2018/3/27 23:08:40

China on Tuesday called on Russia and the UK to solve the spy poisoning case through investigation and dialogue, and urged relevant countries to give up confrontation after Western countries expelled Russian diplomats in response to a nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in Salisbury, England.

"China has been closely following the case, and firmly opposes the use of chemical weapons," foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a daily briefing on Tuesday. "But we believed that the case should be dealt with based on facts and through conversation between Russia and the UK."

"We believed that relevant countries should abandon the Cold War mentality and give up confrontation to maintain global peace and stability," she said.

Hua's remarks came after at least 20 Western countries including the US, UK and Australia expelled more than 100 Russian diplomats following the poisoning of Sergei Skripal, 66, and daughter Yulia Skripal, 33, on March 4.

According to the BBC, the two were poisoned by a military-grade nerve agent and remain in a critical but stable condition in hospital.

EU leaders agreed last week it was highly likely Russia was behind the nerve-agent poisoning. Russia denies any role in the attack on the pair and vowed to retaliate to the "provocative gesture," BBC reported.

Iceland's foreign ministry said its leaders would not attend the World Cup in Russia this year, Reuters reported.

"The US and European countries attempted to use the spy poisoning case as a tool to strengthen their relations as ties between the US and European countries have grown problematic and complicated," said Cui Hongjian, director of the Department of European Studies at the China Institute of International Studies.

Cui said that the case reflected Western countries' insecurity over a tough Russia.

Although the case was unlikely to lead to a full confrontation between Russia and Western countries in the short term, it aggravated distrust, Cui said.



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