Published: Tue, April 03, 2018

Lavrov says spy poisoning 'could be in interests' of British govt

Lavrov says spy poisoning 'could be in interests' of British govt

How far a row escalates between Moscow and the West over the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain does not depend on Russia, its Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a news briefing on Monday.

He said he hoped Sergei Skripal would "also follow this example" and get better.

In times of cold war there were some rules, but now Britain and the United States had dropped all propriety and were playing children's games, he said.

The March 4 attack on Skripal and his daughter in the English city of Salisbury has triggered a wave of tit-for-tat expulsions of diplomats between the West and Russian Federation and sent relations plunging to new post-Cold War lows. "Now, Britain, the US and a few countries blindly following them have dropped all decorum and engaged in blatant lies and disinformation".

Britain and more than two dozen of its allies expelled more than 150 Russian diplomats.

Mr Lavrov denounced the British accusations as a "mad and frightful provocation".

RUSSIA'S foreign minister came under fire yesterday after he appeared to suggest Britain might be behind the poisoning of an ex-KGB double agent and his daughter in Salisbury.

"If there were any gripes against the man, he wouldn't have been swapped", Lavrov said.

Russia's top diplomat also mocked Britain's claim there was no plausible alternative explanation for the poisonings of the Skripals, suggesting British intelligence could have been involved in the attack as part of a distraction from the difficulties surrounding ongoing Brexit talks.

In response to Montenegro's "unjustified move", the Russian side declared an official of the Embassy of Montenegro persona non grata, it said.

"This could be in the interests of the British government which found itself in an uncomfortable situation having failed to fulfil promises to its electorate about the conditions for Brexit", Lavrov said at a press conference in Moscow, referring to Britain's planned departure from the European Union.

Mr Lavrov said Britain had put "all decency aside" when it accused Russian Federation of ordering the attempt to murder Mr Skripal, 66, and daughter Yulia, 33.

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