Russia faces deadline over spy poision attack
2018-03-13 14:50:00

British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Monday it was "highly likely" that Moscow was responsible for the poisoning in England of Russian former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter using a military-grade nerve agent.

May told parliament that either the Russian state was directly responsible for the poisoning or it had allowed the nerve agent to get into the hands of others. London has given Russia until the end of Tuesday to explain its use.

British officials had identified the substance as being part of the Novichok group of nerve agents which were developed by the Soviet military during the 1970s and 1980s, May said.

Russia's Foreign Ministry hit back immediately, saying May's comments were a "circus show" and part of a political information campaign against Russia.

Skripal, 66, and his 33-year-old daughter Yulia, have been in hospital in a critical condition since being found unconscious on a bench outside a shopping center in the city of Salisbury on March 4.

Relations between Britain and Russia have been strained since the murder in London of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko, who died in 2006 after drinking green tea laced with radioactive polonium-210.

Police officers remove protective suits after working in a police tent in London Road cemetery as they continue investigations into the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter, March 10, 2018.

On Monday, May said the latest poisoning took place "against a backdrop of a well-established pattern of Russian state aggression" and that Britain was ready to take "much more extensive measures" against Russia than in the past.

Russia's ambassador to London has been summoned to explain to British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson how the nerve agent came to have been used.

"On Wednesday we will consider in detail the response from the Russian state," May said.

Source:CGTN Editor:Dylan
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