Published: Sat, March 17, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Russia's RT warns British media after spy poisoning

Russia's RT warns British media after spy poisoning

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.

President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov today reiterated Moscow's position that Britain's accusations were unfounded and that the poisoning of Skripal and his daughter had "all the signs of a provocation".

Russia's actions since the poisoning "underlines" that conclusion, they said.

"President Macron said that France completely shares the U.K.'s assessment that there is no plausible explanation other than that Russian Federation was responsible for the attack and he once again expressed his full support for the a close and strong ally", the statement said. The southern English town where the attack took place on a Sunday afternoon and could have exposed as many as 500 people. "But a statement is not enough, tangible action is needed".

In the biggest expulsion of Russian diplomats from London since the Cold War, Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday gave 23 Russians who she said were spies working under diplomatic cover a week to leave London.

Moscow's ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, even suggested the United Kingdom might have been responsible for the attack in an attempt to smear Russian Federation.

Lavrov said Russia's response would come "very soon" but be conveyed to British officials first, an apparent contradiction of an earlier report by state news agency RIA that said Lavrov had promised to expel British diplomats.

In addition to the expulsions, the United Kingdom has announced measures that include increased checks on private flights, customs and freight as well as a boycott of this year's Fifa World Cup in Russian Federation by ministers and the Royal Family.

The incident has been compared to the 2006 death of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko after being poisoned with a radioactive substance in a central London hotel.

Some congressional lawmakers had nudged Trump to bolster the US response, including Republican Sen. The Kremlin dismissed allegations as nonsense. In the intervening years Putin has turned his back on the West, intervened in Syria to prop up the Assad regime and annexing Crimea in the face of worldwide condemnation.

About Turkey's Operation Olive Branch in Syria's Afrin region, Lavrov said the USA had "sincerely provoked Turkey" by its actions in the eastern part of Syria.

The British Foreign Minister confirmed that the Novichok nerve gas was produced and stored in Russian Federation.

British Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said Russian Federation should "go away and shut up" in response to the UK's expulsion of the diplomats. "Everything leads us to believe that responsibility can be attributed to Russian Federation". Putin discussed relations with Britain at a meeting of Russia's Security Council. In an unusual joint move Wednesday, the U.S., France and Germany also pointed the finger at Russian Federation.

In a column for The Guardian he said the attack had been "barbaric and beyond reckless", and "the Russian authorities must be held to account".

They called on Russian Federation to provide a complete disclosure of the Novichok programme to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague.

Moscow has vowed there will be a swift response to the expulsion of 23 of its diplomats by Britain. The offering of dollar debt closes tomorrow, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

The investigation will be carried out in accordance with "Russian and global law", it said, adding that "investigators are ready to work together with competent authorities in Great Britain". Other wide-ranging responses, such as financial sanctions or preventing Russian banks from using the SWIFT global payments messaging system, require multilateral support and time.

While the statement signals a more coordinated response from Britain's closest allies, it lacked any details about specific measures the West would take if Russian Federation failed to comply. "This is, in my view, being polite; this is how gentlemen behave", he said.

He said May will have a hard decision on Wednesday, when she has to spell out how Britain will respond. "They should use that".

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