Published: Mon, September 10, 2018
World News | By Sandy Lane

"Unacceptable": Russia On Britain Blaming Kremlin For Spy Poisoning

May called the attack "sickening and despicable" and described the movements of the suspects, who have be named as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.

"We have full confidence in the British assessment that the two suspects were officers from the Russian military intelligence service, also known as the GRU, and that this operation was nearly certainly approved at a senior government level", the statement said, adding that the countries urged Russia to provide "full disclosure of its Novichok program".

She told MPs the poisoning was "not a rogue operation" and was "almost certainly" approved at a senior level of the Russian state.

Russia's Foreign Ministry spokesman says Moscow has no knowledge of the suspects named in the poisoning of a former Russian agent in Britain.

Mr Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Mrs May's accusations are "unacceptable" and that "no-one in the Russian leadership" has anything to do with the poisoning, while foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova accused the United Kingdom and U.S. of a "witch hunt" against Russia.

Former GRU officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were left critically ill after being exposed to the military grade nerve agent Novichok in Salisbury in March.

A European arrest warrant has been issued for the two Russians, British prosecutors said, but Britain will not ask Moscow to extradite them because Russia's constitution does not allow its citizens to be extradited.

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Prosecutors deem it futile to apply to Russian Federation for the extradition of the two men, but a European Arrest Warrant has been obtained and the authorities are also seeking the assistance of Interpol.

British Ambassador Karen Pierce will present the latest findings on the poisoning of Russian former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the city of Salisbury.

Det Sgt Nick Bailey also fell ill after responding to the incident in Salisbury.

Police say the men flew from Moscow to London two days before the Skripals were poisoned on Russian passports but that it believes that the names were aliases.

Police revealed that traces of Novichok were found at a hotel in London's east end where the men spent two nights.

In a statement from the Metropolitan Police Wednesday morning, counter-terror boss Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said 250 counter-terror officers had been involved in the investigation, and that an Interpol red notice would be circulated for the men.

Police believe the nerve agent was smuggled to Britain in a counterfeit Nina Ricci perfume bottle and sprayed on the front door of Sergei Skripal's house. He was hospitalised and his girlfriend Dawn Sturgess, 44, died after being exposed to the contents.

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Police believe Ms Sturgess and Mr Rowley were not deliberately targeted, but were in fact victims of recklessness in how the nerve agent was disposed of after the attempted assassination of Mr Skirpal.

Rowley tried to put the two parts of the bottle together at home on June 30, during which he got some of the poison on himself.

There was "sufficient evidence" to charge two Russian nationals, Scotland Yard said.

Meanwhile on Thursday, Kremlin rejected that Russian President Vladimir Putin is ultimately responsible for poisoning Sergei Skripal in England, and said Russia is not going to investigate the suspects.

Basu would not comment on whether the Skripals had faced threats before the attack or where they were now located.

According to the publication, the Violinist could have a Spanish intelligence with information on Russian organized crime, which in recent time the country is fighting.

The motive for attacking Skripal, who was exchanged in a Kremlin-approved spy swap in 2010, is still unclear, as is the motive for using an exotic nerve agent, Novichok, which has such clear links to Russia's Soviet past.

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May said Britain and its allies would "step up our collective efforts" against the agency, though she did not name any specific measures.

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