March 28, 2018 / 10:12 AM / a month ago

Russia to Britain: Prove your own spies did not poison Skripal

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Russian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday demanded London prove British spies did not poison a former double agent in England, saying in the absence of such proof it would regard the incident as an attempt on the lives of Russian citizens.

A police notice is attached to screening surrounding a restaurant which was visited by former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia before they were found on a park bench after being poisoned in Salisbury, Britain, March 19, 2018. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/Files

Ties between London and Moscow are badly strained by the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury. Britain alleges Russia was to blame, but Moscow says it had no involvement.

“An analysis of all the circumstances ... leads us to think of the possible involvement in it (the poisoning) of the British intelligence services,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

“If convincing evidence to the contrary is not presented to the Russian side we will consider that we are dealing with an attempt on the lives of our citizens as a result of a massive political provocation.”

Reporting by Katya Golubkova; Editing by Andrew Osborn

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