Putin’s spokesman has said that Johnson’s comments are ‘unforgivable’
Stepping up the attack on Kremlin, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson today suggested that Vladimir Putin was directly responsible for ordering the nerve agent attack in Salisbury.
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.
Speaking to media during a visit to Uxbridge today, Johnson said the UK Government believes it is “overwhelmingly likely” that the Russian president himself ordered the assassination attempt on the Skripals, which left them both critical in hospital.
He added: “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 the UK, on the streets of Europe, for the first time since the Second World War. That is why we are at odds with Russia.”
The statement comes just hours after media reports suggested that Russia is set to expel British diplomats in retaliation for PM expelling 23 Russian diplomats. So far, Russia has denied any involvement in the attack.
Meanwhile, Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, has said that Johnson’s accusation against the Russian president was unforgivable. “Any reference or mention of our president in this regard is a shocking and unforgivable breach of diplomatic rules of decent behaviour,” Peskov said, according to the Tass news agency.