Britain wants 'proportionate' response to Russian Federation after spy poisoning

Russian Ambassador to the UK Alexander Yakovenko

Lieutenant General Evgeny Buzhinskiy, former member of Russian general staff and now the founder of a Russian think tank the PIR Center, said the growing tension following the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury was "worse than the Cold War".

Gary Aitkenhead, the chief executive of the Government's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), said the poison had been identified as a military-grade Novichok nerve agent which could probably be deployed only by a nation-state.

The British government said several pieces of information contributed to its conclusion that the Russian government was responsible for the nerve agent attack, including intelligence that Russia had produced Novichok within the last decade and had investigated ways of delivering nerve agents for assassination.

Moscow has denied any involvement in the incident.

Aitkenhead said there is "no way" the nerve agent could have come from the high-security facility.

Asked about his scientists' findings, Mr Aitkenhead told Sky: "We in terms of our role were able to identify it as Novichok, to identify it was a military-grade nerve agent".

"We need to respond in a proportionate way to this aggressive behavior from Russian Federation and that's what we're doing", the spokesman said when asked if there was a real risk of triggering a war.

Putin said he was astonished at how rapidly the anti-Russian campaign has been whipped up on the backdrop of the Skripal case.




Russia has repeatedly denied involvement in the poisoning, with Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova last week accusing the United Kingdom government of seeking to "bring about a totally absurd situation". "If there was any hint that anything that we have would be leaving our four walls, then we wouldn't be allowed to operate".

Putin reaffirmed that Russia wanted to take part in the investigation, noting that the victims of the poisoning - Skripal and his daughter Yulia - were both Russian nationals.

"Russia is interested in establishing the whole truth of the matter", he said.

"We hope to discuss the whole matter and call on Britain to provide every possible element of evidence they might have in their hands", said the Russian ambassador to Ireland, Yury Filatov.

So far 29 nations have expelled diplomats over the poisoning, which the British government holds Russian Federation responsible for.

"The chairperson of the Executive Council. has received a request by the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation.to convene a meeting of the Executive Council", the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said Tuesday on its website.

The tensions also are an outgrowth of USA sanctions on Russian Federation for meddling in the 2016 US elections.

The White House announced the expulsion of 60 Russian officials from the country last week in response to the alleged Russian poisoning of Sergei Skripal, an ex-Russian spy living in Britain.

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