Russia to UK at the United Nations: “Give Up on Colonial Habits”

Of all the recent farcical sessions of the UN Security Council to have transpired in recent years, today’s was one of the most surreal. The UN Security council had initially opted to hold a private meeting to discuss what in a saner circumstance would be a localised police issue in a quiet leafy city in England. Instead, along with truly global issues like the suffering of occupied Palestine, nuclear proliferation and international war, it is being discussed at the United Nations. Perhaps next week, the UN can discuss the problem of expensive taxis in Paris or the lack of Peruvian restaurants in Ulaanbaatar. This is not to make light of the fact that three people are injured due to a mysterious poisoning, but the fact remains that it is a local rather than an international incident. Unless some international element of the crime is discovered which thus far, it has not, it will ultimately remain a matter of local law enforcement. It is of great relevance that it was Russia which demanded the meeting be open to the public so that the world could see just how absurd the statements from the UK and US would be. Russia was right – there was plenty of absurdity on display.

But if it wasn’t enough for the UK to demand a meeting of the Security Council to discuss a local police issue, once the UK envoy at the meeting got down flushing the presumption of innocence down the drain, it was US Ambassador Nikki Haley’s turn. While the issue at hand was the poisoning of a former British spy of Russian origin, his daughter visiting from Moscow and a local police officer who fell ill while searching the initial victim’s house, for Nikki Haley, it was also about Syria and North Korea.

Haley launched into a tirade of baseless allegations regarding the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government, while failing to mention that the Syrian Arab Army discovered a chemical warfare laboratory in formerly Takfiri terrorist occupied territory, just days ago. She also failed to mention that Syria agreed to have all of its chemical weapons removed in 2013, under an agreement co-signed by both Russia and the United States. She also predictably failed to mention that the only reason Syria ever developed chemical weapons in the first place was because it required a cost effective deterrent to the nuclear weapons of the neighbouring Zionist regime – a regime that refuses to declare its illegal weapons officially, but whose mouthpieces boast about in technically unofficial capacities. Her statements about the supposed DPRK assassination of a distant relative of the current North Korean head of state, were thrown in for good measure. Haley then somehow implied that Russia is responsible for both – how, is anyone’s guess.

When Russian Ambassador to the UN Vasily Nebenzya spoke, he first of all dispelled the notion that the fact the USSR developed the alleged poison in question somehow proves culpability. Nebenzya reminded the Security Council that since 1992, Russia began the dismantling of its chemical weapons programme and as part of this agreement, Moscow shared previously confidential formulas for various chemical substances, including with the US and its partners. In any case, the formula for the chemical substance allegedly used in the Skripal incident is public knowledge and is available to anyone who purchases a book by a man called Vil Mirzayanov. His book incidentally retails for $30.

While the UK is implying that it does not have the formula for the alleged poison, Ambassador Nebenzya reminded the Security Council that according to the scientific method, in order for UK investigators to positively identify a substance, one would need the chemical formula for the alleged substance as well as a control sample to measure against that which was found in the victim. The clear implication is that either the UK has access to the Novichok poison or otherwise, it cannot be entirely sure if this was even the substance which led to the illness of Skripal, his daughter and a police detective.

Nebenzya lamented that the nation which produced the author Arthur Conan Doyle, has become more like his incompetent character Inspector Lestrade, rather than the more studious Sherlock Holmes. He further stated that the UK and others must “give up on colonial habits”, which he correctly said were throwbacks to the 19th century and un-befitting of the 21st.

When all is said and done, what should have been a police investigation that could have then been supervised by international parties to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, has become a neo-imperial farce, where countries like the UK and US are throwing around racist stereotypes about Russia in order to force Russia to prove its innocence in a matter where no guilt can reasonably be assigned without a great deal more investigation.

This is ultimately what it boils down to – a former empire criticising a current superpower for something they had no motive to carry out.

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