FSB general: ''Mirzayanov claimed the Americans tried to destroy the formula of Novichok''
Aleksandr Mikhailov about the poisoning of Sergei Skripal, the practice of liquidation of traitors by special services and the severe reaction of British authorities
On Monday, Prime Minister of Great Britain Theresa May announced Russia's implication in the poisoning of former State Intelligence Administration worker Sergei Skripal and also issued an ultimatum: Moscow must give an explanation until Tuesday evening – otherwise, London would consider the incident as military aggression of the Russian Federation against Great Britain. In the light of the international situation that's becoming tenser, Realnoe Vremya reached out to former FSB General Aleksandr Mikhailov and asked him about the ''Skripal case'', the connection of the Novichok poisonous substance that was allegedly used to poison the former SIS worker with Russia and the practice of liquidation of traitors by special services and the MI6 dossier on Vladimir Putin that authorities of Great Britain threaten to reveal.
''Skripal could have been destroyed in the very camp, under a specious excuse''
Mr Mikhailov, what do you think the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter is? Provocation of the West, a mistake of our security officials…
Nowadays nobody has objective data to assess this situation and make conclusions. The British side can't accuse us but presuppose. And we, in turn, have quite many questions for the British.
The first question I'd like to ask the prime minister of Great Britain is: ''Why have people who were former citizens of the Russian Federation being deliberately destroyed on your territory for several years? Litvinenko, Berezovsky and Skripal now. Is it a targeted policy of Great Britain or is it the so-called uncontrollable situation? Doesn't it seem to Mrs May that today Great Britain is a country that's dangerous for foreigners to be there?''
The second question I'd like to ask the minister of foreign affairs who called our ambassador and dares to ask him questions about how the poisonous substances reached the territory of Great Britain: ''Does Great Britain have the customs, border troops and special services to detect that the military poisonous substance could be possibly brought to the country's territory?''
They always shift the blame. Moreover, they come from such ''schizophrenia of the great inquisition'' – they accuse us without having either facts or information. All is done a priori – like they did with ''witches'' and heretics by burning them in a fire in the past. Today we're in a situation when absolutely any fact directly or indirectly helps the West complain of the Russian Federation even in the issues that our country has nothing to do with.
Going back to Skripal, I'd like to mention one important moment: this person was condemned and was in places of deprivation of liberty for a long time. If, for instance, somebody had a desire to destroy him, it could have been done in the very camp, under a specious excuse and with an absolutely ''unseen'' diagnosis. The second moment: when the decision on his exchange for our people was made, all circumstances were considered, including that he could do harm to the country. There were not found such facts, this is why it was made an absolutely sensible decision that enabled him to leave the territory of the Russian Federation.
Thirdly, I'd like to notice that no special service will carry out operations to destroy even terrorists abroad by risking their people as well as their country's reputation. Even Israeli special services, about which there are many legends linked with the destruction of terrorists, didn't run their campaigns abroad, as it was linked with high danger to the performers and, most importantly, with a high risk of damaging Israel's reputation.
All that's coming about in Great Britain means a complete incompetence of their special services – despite the traditions, they are unable to find the performers of the crime and aren't able to carefully investigate the case. And this is why they are following only the political line, which is close to not only very Great Britain but also France, Germany and the United States. It's confrontation with the Russian Federation. This is why the criminals aren't wanted – they are just appointed.
''It's stupidity, nonsense and completely absurd to clearly claim the poison is of Russian origin''
Theresa May claimed the Skripals were poisoned by a substance from the Novichok group (nerve agents of this series were created as early as the late 1980s in the State Organic Chemistry and Technology Research and Development Institute). Do you know anything about its creation, its impact on human organism?
I know nothing about it. Chemists who are good at these formulas should answer this question. However, I can't help but notice that Great Britain uses exceptionally strange, I'd say, exotic ways to destruct enemies.
The first case (I mean Litvinenko's poisoning) was with polonium. It was almost impossible to bring it through two state borders without a risk for the performers. In addition, it's a too distinctive isotope that's detected by radiation examination systems.
The situation in the recent case is more comic – a military poisonous substance that doesn't already exist in Russia is announced. According to all international agreements, we destroyed these substances, and nobody will keep it for a rainy day, especially bring it across the border.
Even if it were really Novichok, which was created in Russia in the Soviet era, is it fair to state from the high rostrum that it's highly likely to be Russia's meddling?
Wherever vodka is made, its formula will be C2H5OH anyway, you know. It's possible to make any poisonous substance with all necessary components at any point of the globe.
One needs to know that nowadays the inventor of this substance – Vil Mirzayanov – is on the territory of the USA. He claimed the Americans tried to destroy the formula of Novichok by interfering in his notes. In this case, they must have this formula in their hands. They could have destroyed it for others but probably left it for themselves, right? This is why it's stupidity, nonsense and completely absurd to clearly claim the poison is of Russian origin. Many toxic substances can be made of medications that were legally bought in a pharmacy at home, in general.
In other words, does it turn out the stories that ''this country uses such a poison more often and the other – this one – to liquidate undesirable elements'' have no foundation?
It's chemistry. If we were talking about rocket engines, naturally, certain technologies would be needed. When we are talking about the synthesis of chemical substances, it's Mendeleyev's table and certain synthesis technologies. So everything can be made in the place that has necessary components and conditions for production.
''Russian special services haven't committed such an act against traitors after liquidating Bandera''
Do our special service often liquidate traitors?
The last case was in 1959 – the liquidation of Bandera and Shukhevich. Russian special services haven't committed such an act against traitors, betrayers, castigators and other enemies since then.
Russian journalist Tonia Samsonova wrote on her Twitter that the publication of material of special services that are present in the MI-6 dossier on Vladimir Putin is one of the measures against Russia, which was discussed on Monday in Great Britain. Is this threat real? What are the possible consequences?
Rubbish, they have nothing. They have the same presuppositions or gossip that they collect from absolutely incompetent people or our turncoats.
I'd also like to notice that several famous traitors at once, including Gordiyevsky, who were sentenced in their absence feel quite good in London. They've been living there for some thirty years, and nobody attempts their life for some reason because nobody protects them there.
Mr Mikhailov, what a reaction do you think Great Britain will have? Will everything soft-pedalled or, roughly speaking, should we be ready for something big?
I think they are certainly preparing for something big. There will be a reaction to several areas at once. Firstly, economic – they will block different assets, press people who influence the political situation in Russia, including oligarchs who have business and property abroad.
The second area will be purely political – it's prolongation of sanctions, an attempt to create a belt of isolation around Russia by pressing different countries and creation of conditions to cut off economic relations.
The third area is the idea that has already been expressed by the minister of foreign affairs of Great Britain on boycotting the football WC. They can really make such a step. Moreover, the English already said they were ready to host the world championship if it couldn't be in Russia. In my opinion, these are the main areas. We will see what will happen then.