Russia now demands nerve agent sample from Britain
Russia will not co-operate with Britain’s inquiry into how an ex-spy and his daughter were poisoned until it has been given a sample of the substance used, its foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has said.
Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal had been granted refuge in the UK in 2010 under a “spy swap” but was found unconscious with his 33-year daughter outside a shopping centre in Salisbury last Sunday.
Valentina Matviyenko, the speaker of the Russian upper house, has also branded the UK’s allegations against the Kremlin as fake news and “a provocation”.
He told a Russian news agency: “This is another fake [item of news]aimed at whipping up another round of the Russophobic campaign… What is being done in the UK harms our bilateral relations …It is obvious that it is a provocation against Russia and an attempt to groundlessly accuse Russia and exert influence and pressures… I believe that Britain’s investigative agencies will not follow this political trend, although such statements, made at a high level, are tantamount to pressure on the investigation. It’s an attempt to dictate a certain viewpoint, which is impermissible in a civilised legal system.”
US President Donald Trump also said today that he would take Britain’s assessment that Russia was behind the attack “as fact”.
Yesterday PM Theresa May had said that the attack, which has left the two Skripals in intensive care and hospitalised a police officer, was “highly likely” to have been carried out by the Russian state.
According to latest reports, Skripal’s daughter had arrived from Russia the day before she and her father were found collapsed on a park bench in Salisbury.