Tuesday, 23 July, 2019

Britain's claim Putin ordered ex-spy poisoning 'unforgiveable'

Patty Aguilar | 18 March, 2018, 21:21

The U.K.'s top diplomat pointed the finger directly at Vladimir Putin, saying it was "overwhelmingly likely" that he personally ordered the nerve-agent attack on British soil.

"Our quarrel is with Putin's Kremlin, and with his decision, and we think it overwhelmingly likely that it was his decision to direct the use of a nerve agent on the streets of Britain, on the streets of Europe, for the first time since World War II", the foreign secretary said.

"That is why we are at odds with Russian Federation".

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May said it's "highly likely" the Kremlin is responsible for the March 4 attack against Skripal and his daughter.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russian Federation could hit back at the United Kingdom "any minute".

The Kremlin's Peskov called the allegation that Putin was involved "a shocking and unforgivable breach of the diplomatic rules of decent behaviour", TASS news agency reported.

Britain has expelled 23 Russian diplomats and suspended high-level contacts with Moscow due to the incident.

As the worldwide scandal gathers pace, Skripal and his daughter remain in critical condition after exposure to the Soviet-designed chemical Novichok on March 4 in the southwestern English city of Salisbury.

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With Russia's presidential election fast-approaching, RT takes a look at how worldwide media outlets are covering the campaign, and if they apply the same rigorous standards as they would in their home countries. Russia's foreign minister said Britain's defense minister "lacks education".

The Russian president has barely weighed in on the row, only telling a BBC reporter earlier this week: "Sort things out from your side and then we will discuss this with you".

An 83-year-old Russian whistleblower who helped develop Novichok told the AP on Friday that no other country could have used that particular nerve agent to poison a former spy. Mirzayanov said he revealed the existence of Novichok because he thought it was necessary to deprive Russian Federation of its "deadly secret".

Lavrov also lashed out at Britain for not providing consular access to Yulia Skripal, who along with her father is in critical condition at a Salisbury hospital.

Alexander Yakovenko told the Russian agency the information was "not enough" for Russia.

Russia's ambassador to Britain said Friday the 23 expulsions will reduce staff at the embassy by about 40 percent.

However, Johnson went further, blaming Putin directly on Friday. "Those (American) politicians are playing with fire", he said.

In a statement, the four leaders said they shared the view of British investigators that "there is no plausible alternative explanation" for the attack.

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