Tuesday, 16 October, 2018


Kremlin says no clear proof Russian Federation behind the Skripal attack - RIA

Bennie Garza | 18 March, 2018, 00:16

Putin's announcement comes hours after leaders of the United States, United Kingdom, France, and Germany slammed the Russian government for its role behind the illegal assassination plot; labeling the attack "abhorrent" to the global community.

Putin is certain to win a sweeping victory in Sunday's vote, securing another six-year term after 18 years in power, in part on his argument that he must stand up to Western aggressors.

Peskov and other Russian officials have strongly denied Moscow's responsibility in the March 4 attack in Salisbury that has left both Skripals in critical condition.

"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, " said the Foreign Secretary.

A Downing Street spokesman would not be drawn on whether Theresa May endorsed Mr Williamson's comments, saying only: "The Prime Minister sent her own very clear message to Russian Federation over the course of the week".

The spy, 66-year-old Sergei Skripal and his 33-year-old daughter Yulia were poisoned with a nerve agent identified by British authorities as one made only by Russian Federation.

The Daily Telegraph reported that the nerve agent used in the attack could have been planted in Yulia Skripal's suitcase during a recent trip to Moscow.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson defended the measures announced on Wednesday and suggested that there could be further consequences for rich Russians with assets in Britain. Ella Pamfilova was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying, "It is in our interest that everything works".

Johnson said Prime Minister Theresa May would talk to French President Emmanuel Macron again on Thursday about the attack.

He said: "There is a reason for choosing Novichok".

Speaking to the BBC news on Thursday, Johnson said the rare Soviet-made chemical weapon used against Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the British town of Salisbury was specifically chosen to send a message to political dissenters challenging Russia's President Vladimir Putin. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons also says it expects action soon in response to the British investigation.

Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, former commander of the British Army's chemical and biological weapons regiment, called the claim that US or British agents could have developed Novichok "complete hogwash".

Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, former commander of the British Army's chemical and biological weapons regiment, called that Russian claim "complete hogwash".

An 83-year-old Russian whistleblower who helped develop Novichok said in an interview published Friday that a few countries in the world have laboratories powerful enough to develop the nerve agent thanks to a formula he published in 2008.

Moscow will expel British diplomats in retaliation for a similar move made by London earlier this week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday (Saturday NZ Time), without specifying how many or any other retaliatory measures in the deepening crisis between the two countries.

Writing in The Guardian on Friday, the leader of the opposition Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn called for "calm heads" and warned against rushing into a "new cold war".

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