Published: Sun, March 18, 2018

Russia readies to hand Putin a new term

Russia readies to hand Putin a new term

At the same time, the British foreign secretary added that "we have nothing against the Russians themselves".

"Sooner or later the British side will have to present some kind of tangible evidence". They remain in a critical condition.

Writing in The Guardian, he said "a connection to Russian mafia-like groups that have been allowed to gain a toehold in Britain can not be excluded".

An 83-year-old whistleblower who helped develop Novichok said in an interview published Friday that he thinks the Skripals have little chance of surviving, and that only a few countries in the world have laboratories powerful enough to develop the nerve agent.

"Our quarrel is with Putin's Kremlin and with his decision - and we think it overwhelmingly likely that it was his decision - to direct the use of a nerve agent on the streets of the United Kingdom, on the streets of Europe for the first time since the Second World War".

In a demonstration of the West's unity, Mrs May and Mr Trump, along with Germany's Angela Merkel and France's Emmanuel Macron, issued a joint statement endorsing the prime minister's conclusion that it was "highly likely" Russian Federation was behind the attack on the Skripals.

Britain has cancelled high-level bilateral contact with the Kremlin and May on Wednesday gave 23 Russian diplomats a week to leave Britain.

The Kremlin has described Boris Johnson's comments as "shocking and unforgiveable".

She said diplomatic notes sent to the Foreign Office had received replies that "made no sense". NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg followed that up Friday by saying that the incident reflected a Russian "pattern of reckless behavior" that includes cyberattacks and election meddling.

The sanctions prompted a swift threat of retaliation from the Russian government.

May said that it was tragic that Putin, who is likely to coast to a fourth term in a Sunday presidential election, had chosen to act in such a way.

Sergei Skripal moved to Salisbury after being jailed for passing Russian state secrets to British intelligence while working for the Russian government in the 1990s.

"And it's the Russian President who evaluates him".

Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday the nerve agent attack on Sergei Skripal "doesn't affect" the campaign for Sunday's election, which he called Russia's top priority. None have shown any symptoms.

In response to Mrs May's Commons address, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said it was not up to the PM to pass judgement on Mr Lavrov.

A Russian businessman and former head of the Russian state airliner, Aeroflot, was also found dead at his home with strangulation marks around his neck.

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