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Russia Demands Samples of Nerve Agent Over Former Spy’s Poisoning

In response to the British’s government’s demand for an explanation of the use of nerve agent in the attack in the English city of Salisbury, which left former Russian agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in critical condition last week, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov explicitly said that “Russia is not responsible.” Moscow further reiterated that it would not cooperate on the investigation if they don’t receive samples of the nerve agent and would not comply with the Tuesday midnight deadline set by British Prime Minister Theresa May.

In a statement, Lavrov called out the U.K. on its violation of the chemical weapons convention, saying that, under the convention treaty, Russia is allowed to have a 10-day window period to reply to an official accusation.

We have already made our statement on this case. Russia is ready to cooperate in accordance with the convention to ban chemical weapons if the United Kingdom will deign to fulfill its obligations according to the same convention.

According to Russian news agencies, the Foreign Ministry has reportedly summoned the U.K. ambassador, Laurie Bristow, to Moscow, which a representative for the U.K. embassy in Moscow said Bristow would visit and meet with Vladimir Titov, the first deputy minister for foreign affairs, for talks on Tuesday.

On Monday, Theresa May told the parliament that Russia was “highly likely” to have been behind last week’s poisoning, reinforcing that the poison used was a Soviet-era Novichok agent, and has suggested that the U.K. should respond by revoking broadcasting licenses to Russian media or increase their inspection on Russia’s foreign investments. Nevertheless, Russian officials have remained defiant to U.K.’s accusations. Andrei Klimov, the deputy head of Russian Federation Council’s Foreign Affairs Committee, argued that other Soviet countries could be behind the attack.

[via The Guardian]

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