Published: Sun, March 18, 2018
World | By Camille Rivera

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

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

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said on Friday that it was overwhelmingly likely that Russian President Vladimir Putin himself made the decision to use a military-grade nerve toxin to strike down a former Russian agent on English soil.

The comment came on the same day the Trump administration announced it is enacting new sanctions on Russian individuals indicted last month by special counsel Robert Mueller.

"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 United Kingdom, on the streets of Europe for the first time since the Second World War".

Sergei Skripal moved to Salisbury after being jailed for passing Russian state secrets to British intelligence while working for the Russian government in the 1990s.

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Russian Federation was quick to deny the accusation and reiterated it was not involved in the poisoning of Sergei Skripal, 66, and his 33-year-old daughter, Yulia, in Salisbury almost two weeks ago using nerve agent Novichok.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Friday that Moscow would expand its own "black list" of Americans, adding that additional measures have not yet been ruled out.

Tensions with Moscow are growing before Russia's presidential election Sunday, after a nerve agent attack in Britain on a Russian ex-spy.

Yesterday, Boris Johnson said the United Kingdom will allow for an independent global examination of the nerve agent which was used in the attack on the former double agent Sergei Skripal.

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Mentioning Putin in the context of Sergei Skripal's poisoning "is nothing but shocking and unforgiveable behaviour from the point of view of diplomacy", Peskov said.

He criticised the lack of transparency and said: "Nobody saw even the pictures of these people in a hospital, whether they are alive or maybe they are in good health".

He said Russian Federation would target the same number of people as the US but didn't say what the sanctions would involve. A report Friday in the Telegraph says it was put in the suitcase of Skripal's daughter before she left Russian Federation for Britain to see her father.

He said the "UK is not alone" and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies give "strong political support" to Britain, following a joint statement from the US, France and Germany backing Mrs May's government and a pledge of support from Australia. "There is to be no Russophobia as a result of what is happening". British police said on Friday they had launched a murder investigation but did not think it was linked to the attack on the Skripals.

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Ryabkov said he doesn't want to definitively close the door to dialogue and accused the USA of threatening global stability.

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