Tuesday, 19 March, 2019

Britain points at Putin in poisoning attack

Vladimir Putin has boosted Russia's profile as an international power broker and military forceMore Vladimir Putin has boosted Russia's profile as an international power broker and military forceMore
Patty Aguilar | 19 March, 2018, 02:23

Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman says a mushrooming diplomatic scandal over the poisoning of an ex-spy in Britain won't disrupt Russia's presidential election.

The Democrats' letter also sounds an alarm about this year's midterm elections, warning that despite Putin's claims, Russian efforts are ongoing and must be taken seriously before November.

Britain's foreign secretary accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of personally ordering a nerve agent attack in Britain, ratcheting up tensions Friday in an increasingly global showdown over alleged Russian meddling overseas.

Russian Federation ordered a halt to high-level meetings with the United Kingdom and prepared Friday to expel British diplomats in retaliation for similar British moves - but still hasn't said who will be kicked out or when. The number of Americans on the sanctioned people list will be raised to match that US tally.

Putin has sought to emphasise Russia's role as a major world power, recently boasting of its "invincible" new weapons and doubling down on Moscow's support for the Syrian regime in a bloody civil war.

"It is tied to US internal disorder, tied of course to our electoral calendar", Ryabkov was quoted as saying by the Russian state news agency Tass.

The remarks were made after he was asked about the 13 Russian nationals who had recently been indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 USA election, won by Republican Donald Trump. The sanctions are the first use of the new powers that Congress passed a year ago to punish Moscow for meddling in an election that Trump won over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Their joint statement said there was "no plausible alternative explanation" to Russian Federation being to blame for the attack.

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With Russian help, Syrian forces have stepped up their offensive on rebel-held areas in recent days, leaving many dead. He added: 'We support exactly what the prime minister said and we condemn Russian Federation for this, condemn them.

British Prime Minister Theresa May on March 15 announced the biggest expulsion of Russian diplomats in 30 years, the suspension of planned high-level contacts with Russia, and a boycott by government officials and royal family members of the soccer World Cup that Russia is hosting in June and July.

Altogether, 19 Russians were cited.

Russia's envoy at the OPCW has claimed the substance used could have come from either USA or British stockpiles.

Salisbury District Hospital has also assessed 46 people who came forward expressing health concerns but they were not admitted. Russian Federation denies interfering in the election. It noted that the attack caused several US hospitals to be unable to create electronic medical records for more than a week.

Sobchak is the daughter of the late Anatoly Sobchak, the former mayor of St. Petersburg, who introduced Putin into a government career.

The agency "tampered with, altered or caused a misappropriation of information with the objective or effect of interfering with or undermining election processes and institutions", specifically the 2016 US presidential race. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said in the Guardian that it's possible that "Russian mafia-like groups", rather than the Russian state, were responsible. "Through this activity, the IRA posted thousands of ads that reached millions of people online".

The new sanctions include Russian intelligence services, the Federal Security Service (FSB) and Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), and six individuals working on behalf of the GRU.

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