Joint news conference of Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan – April 3, 2018, Ankara.

The news conference with the leaders of the two countries took place at the close of the first day of the working visit by the head of state of the Russian Federation to the Republic of Turkey. The presidents of Russia and Turkey made statements for the press and fielded questions from journalists. 

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[…] Journalist: RIA Novosti, Elena Glushakova. I have a question for the Russian President. Vladimir Vladimirovich, have you discussed the so-called Skripal case and the British position on this matter at today’s meeting with Mr Erdogan? How do you assess this situation, given the latest information coming from the UK? Thank you.

Vladimir Putin:We have broached this subject in passing. Mr President asked some questions in this regard, and I set out our position. As you may know, I myself learned about this incident from the media; I said so time and again. 

I would only like to add that, according to international experts, about twenty countries in the world can manufacture these neuropathic substances – twenty countries!

Scotland Yard, as you know, went on record as saying that it needed no less than two months for a full-scale investigation. Finally, as I have been informed just now, the general director of the laboratory in Porton Down – it is located within eight kilometres of the incident site – told Sky News that his laboratory staff had failed to identify the country of origin of this neuropathic substance. They are unable to identify the country of origin. Neither are they able to say that this substance was produced in the Russian Federation.

In this connection, first, one is surprised by the speed, with which they whipped up an anti-Russia campaign, and I would like to inform you, although we have mentioned this already: We are convening a session of the Executive Council of the international Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons tomorrow to analyse this situation in the minutest detail.

We brought up at least 20 questions, and I hope that this discussion will draw the bottom line under what has happened. We are most certainly interested in a full-scale investigation and we would like to have access to this; we hope to receive the relevant material, because Russian Federation citizens are involved. As you may know, the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation has opened a criminal case and it will definitely be investigated. Thank you. […]