Kremlin says UK must prove it did not poison spy


Russia has said the UK most prove British intelligence services did not poison former spy Sergei Skripal.

The Russian foreign ministry also said in the absence of that evidence it will consider the case a murder attempt on Russian citizens as part of a “massive political provocation”.

Russia’s accusation is its bluntest yet as it continues to deny involvement in the poisoning of former double agent Mr Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury on 4 March.

:: Poisoned ex-spy ‘should be allowed to die’
:: Poisoned ex-Ukrainian president: ‘I know what Putin fears’

Personnel in protective coveralls and breathing equiptment cover an ambulance with a tarpaulin at the Salisbury District Hospital in Salisbury, southern England, on March 10, 2018
Image: Personnel in protective equipment cover an ambulance with a tarpaulin at Salisbury hospital

The comments come two days after countries across the world started expelling Russian diplomats in solidarity with Britain’s view that the Russian state poisoned the pair with a Soviet-designed nerve agent called Novichok.

Montenegro, a former close Russian ally, is the latest country to expel a Russian diplomat.

A total of 25 other nations – including most in Europe, as well as Canada, the US and Australia – have jointly expelled more than 130 diplomats.

Video: Best friend: Show spy mercy – let him die

The Kremlin on Wednesday reiterated that Russia will “definitely retaliate” against the West over the expulsions.

Russia’s ambassador to Australia, speaking a day after the country expelled him, said the world will enter into a “Cold War situation” if the West continues what he alleged is bias against Moscow.

Grigory Logvinov said: “The West must understand that the anti-Russian campaign has no future.

“If it continues, we will be deeply in a Cold War situation.”

Washington has called on Russia to “accept responsibility for its actions and to demonstrate it is capable of living up to its international commitments”.

British Home Secretary Amber Rudd said she has asked about visas granted to Russians working in the UK.

She said she has requested a possible review of Tier 1 visas – for highly-skilled migrants – for Russians who have applied and those who already have one.

A Kremlin spokesman said Russian President Vladimir Putin “remains open” to holding a summit with Donald Trump, despite his US counterpart expelling 60 diplomats.

More from Salisbury spy

The Russian Federation flag flies in front of its embassy March 26, 2018 in Washington, United States. The United States government announced Monday that it will expel 60 Russian intelligence officers and order the Russian government to close its consulate in Seattle in response to Russia's alleged attempt to murder a former spy living in the United Kingdom.
Video: How will Russia respond to the expulsions?

“This depends on the American side, but the Russian side remains open,” Dmitry Peskov said.

“Putin is ready and the Russian side is ready for mutually beneficial and mutually trustful relations with all countries including the US to the extent that our opponents or partners are ready for this.”

From – SkyNews


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