Johnson: 'Overwhelmingly likely' Putin ordered nerve agent attack

Gwen Vasquez
March 19, 2018

Meanwhile, Russia is set to expel British diplomats in retaliation for Prime Minister Theresa May's decision to kick out 23 Russians over the poisoning.

The Telegraph cites anonymous sources close to investigators, who reportedly believe that the poison (that left the spy in critical condition) was planted in his daughter's suitcase while departing from Moscow.

While Russia has vigorously denied involvement in the attack, Western powers see it as the latest sign of alleged Russian meddling overseas.

The Russian Ambassador denied the UK's allegations, saying, "It is nothing but a fable, absolute nonsense".

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of personally ordering the poisoning.

Russia's Defence Ministry called UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson a "vulgar old harpy" on Thursday, after he said the country should "shut up" and "go away".

"In his campaign rally in Crimea today, President Putin reiterated Russia's false claims to Ukrainian territory in another open admission that the Russian government disdains the global order and disrespects the territorial integrity of sovereign nations", Nauert said.

She announced that London would expel 23 Russian diplomats and take other measures against Moscow.

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"We call on Russian Federation to address all questions related to the attack in Salisbury", the four world powers said in their statement.

Meanwhile the Investigative Committee, which reports to Putin, opened a probe into the "attempted premeditated murder" of Skripal's daughter, a Russian national, which it said had been "carried out in a way that was risky to the public".

"Any reference or mention of our president in this regard is a shocking and unforgivable breach of diplomatic rules of decent behaviour", Peskov said according to Russian press agency TASS.

Military personnel wearing protective suits remove a police auto and other vehicles from a public auto park on March 11, 2018, in Salisbury, England.

Scotland Yard said a man in his 60s was found at a home in Clarence Avenue, New Malden, south-west London, on Monday and that the cause of his death is unexplained - but there was "no evidence to suggest a link to the incident in Salisbury".

Russia's Investigative Committee said it had launched its own criminal proceedings in connection with the "attempted murder of a Russian citizen, Yulia Skripal" in Salisbury and the "murder" of Glushkov in London. The two are still undergoing treatment to recover from the deadly Russian nerve agent.

Shulgin also said that there's now no dialogue between the Russian and the United Kingdom delegations on the Skripal issue at the OPCW headquarters in The Hague.

Russian court officials at the time said he'd received at least $100,000 for his work for MI6, the British intelligence service. Russian Federation has a lot more to lose in that exchange.

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