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  • A police notice is attached to screening surrounding a restaurant which was visited by former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

    A police notice is attached to screening surrounding a restaurant which was visited by former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. | Photo: Reuters

Published 19 March 2018

"This is so dangerous with Russia being effectively pushed into a corner with these accusations," analyst John Pilger warned.

In an interview with Russian broadcaster RT discussing the recent nerve agent poisoning of a former Russian spy in the U.K., Veteran Australian journalist John Pilger argued that "This is a carefully-constructed drama as part of the propaganda campaign that is building for several years to justify the actions of NATO, Britain and the United States towards Russia."

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The attack targeted former double agent, Sergei Skripal, 66, who was found unconscious along with his daughter Yulia, 33, on a bench in the city of Salisbury on March 4 and both victims remain in hospital in critical condition.

Skripal is a retired Russian military intelligence colonel who was convicted of treason in 2006 for transferring Russian intelligence agents identities to Britain's Secret Intelligence Service.

"This is so dangerous with Russia being effectively pushed into a corner with these accusations," Pilger warned. "It's part of a propaganda campaign... promoted specifically in the media and in the government." 

"Russia is ringed by missiles, it has NATO right up on its western border. This is unprecedented since the second world war," Pilger argued. "Most people in Britain, most people in the United States don't understand these dangers, the dangers of this propaganda, now this drama about whether or not Skripal was poisoned by Novichok."

"It's up to the U.K. government to supply evidence, even the most basic, prima facie evidence that Russia was in anyway responsible for this. Russia's nerve gas program, active Novichok program was verified as destroyed in September 2013 by the United Nations watchdog, unlike the United States."

On Saturday, Radio Free Europe quoted Russia scientist Vil Mirzayanov, who wrote the book 'State Secrets: An Insider's Chronicle Of The Russian Chemical Weapons Program Secrets' and is known to have helped develop the nerve agent, 'Novichok,' said, during an interview: "The British could certainly have synthesized it on the basis of the formulas that I published in my book."

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Adding, "Each country takes care of its own security, and as part of the study of possible threats, a model could have been created. So, many countries could have had test samples, but production was only refined in the U.S.S.R. and Russia."

"Most people in the world, in Britain, don't understand the dangers of such propaganda," she added.

Last week, U.K. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn also warned Theresa May to take a "calm, measured" approach and not "rush way ahead of the evidence" in connection to the recent Salisbury attack against the former Russian spy and his daughter.

Corbyn said the United Kingdom should not jump to conclusions, warning against the “McCarthyite intolerance of dissent” over Russia

“This horrific event demands first of all the most thorough and painstaking criminal investigation, conducted by our police and security services," Corbyn said in an opinion piece for the Guardian. "To rush way ahead of the evidence being gathered by the police, in a fevered parliamentary atmosphere, serves neither justice nor our national security." 


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