Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Russian Federation vows to respond to Britain over spy attack 'any minute'

Straight-talking Gavin Williamson Straight-talking Gavin Williamson
Kenny Thornton | 17 March, 2018, 07:30

Britain's foreign minister increased pressure on Russian Federation over the poisoning case of one of Moscow's ex-spies by claiming it was "overwhelmingly likely" President Vladimir Putin directly ordered the attack.

"All this confirms not only the worthlessness of London's accusations against Russian Federation that we have been hearing for the past few years, but also the total worthlessness of the "accusers" themselves", he charged. "There is to be no Russophobia as a result of what is happening", Johnson told reporters at the Battle of Britain bunker from which World War Two fighter operations were controlled.

Australia: Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull and foreign minister Julie Bishop announced in a joint statement their support for the UK's decision to expel 23 Russian diplomats in the wake of the attack.

PM May said that it was tragic that Putin, who is likely to coast to a fourth term in a Sunday presidential election, had chosen to act in such a way.

The U.K. has said a military-grade nerve agent was used in the attack, of a type known as a "Novichok", which is a chemical weapon secretly developed by Russian Federation at the end of the Cold War.

On Thursday, Ryabkov claimed Russian Federation had never developed anything like the alleged nerve agent, identified by the British as Novichok.

The Russian president said in a televised address that "the will of the people, the will of each Russian citizen, will determine the path the country will take". He argues that in fact, many Russians would applaud Theresa May for a crackdown on oligarchs in the UK: "Theresa May would become a very popular politician in Russia if she did what she promises". He also cast doubt on the possibility that the nerve agent was sent through the mail or was placed in luggage that Skripal's daughter brought with her from Russian Federation to Britain.

"You can expect it any minute", Peskov said.

As the global 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.

Meanwhile, the Guardian reports that Skripal remains in a critical condition.

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The Russian foreign minister yesterday said Moscow would respond by expelling British diplomats "soon".

The EU's appeal to Russian Federation came after Britain, the United States, Germany and France jointly called on Russian Federation to explain the military-grade nerve toxin attack in England which they said threatened Western security.

Moscow's retaliation will not be long in coming, Peskov said.

Separately on Friday, police in London launched a murder investigation into the death this week of a Russian associate of late tycoon Boris Berezovsky, but said nothing at this stage suggested a link to the Skripal case.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Russia is set to expel British diplomats after 23 Russian officials were ordered to leave the United Kingdom, as relations between the countries crashed to a post-Cold War low over the Salisbury nerve agent attack.

The investigation believes that Yulia's clothes and cosmetics had been soaked with poisonous substance before she left Moscow.

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.

As Telegraph writes citing its sources in the special services, British investigators have put forward a new theory: it was the spy's daughter, Yulia Skripal, who brought the poison from Moscow.

In January he was sentenced in absentia to three years in prison for abusing his power in pardoning four policemen convicted of killing a banker.

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