October 12, 2018 / 1:53 PM / 2 months ago

Russian UK envoy denies Kremlin tried hack computers and murder ex-spy

Russian Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko addresses the media at a news conference in the official Russian Ambassador's residence in central London, Britain, April 13, 2018. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

LONDON (Reuters) - Russia’s ambassador to London denied on Friday that spies from his country’s military intelligence agency had tried to kill former double agent Sergei Skripal and hack various organisations across the world.

Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko told reporters relations were at a low because the British government was trying to carry out a campaign aimed at discrediting Russia.

When asked directly whether he accepted the British accusation that agents from Russia’s GRU military intelligence agency had tried to kill Skripal in March, Yakovenko said: “No we don’t accept that.”

Asked whether the two men accused by Britain of trying to kill Skripal were GRU agents, he refused to answer the question directly.

He denied accusations from Britain, the United States and the Netherlands that the GRU had hacked organisations across the world to undermine Western democracies.

“Of course I deny it because this is part of a general campaign launched in Britain and supported by the United States... to discredit my country,” he said.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Stephen Addison

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