Britain points at Putin in poisoning attack as gulf widens


Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday that Russian Federation could announce retaliatory measures against Britain in a diplomatic row over the poisoning of former double agent at "any minute".

Prime Minister Theresa May announced this week that 23 Russian diplomats would be expelled from Britain after concluding it was highly probable that Moscow was behind the poisoning, but she stopped short of pointing the finger directly at Putin.

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

Russian Federation denies being the source of the nerve agent, suggesting it could have been another country, and has demanded Britain share samples collected by investigators. "Those [American] politicians are playing with fire", he said.

He also responded to Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson - who previously said Russian Federation should "go away" and "shut up" - saying: "Maybe he lacks education".

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov speaks to Federal Security Service (FSB) Director Alexander Bortnikov as they attend a security council meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, March 15, 2018.

MI6 double agent Skripal and his daughter Yulia, 33, were found collapsed on a bench in Salisbury and remain in a critical condition.

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. Putin had the opportunity to disclose whether it had been manufactured elsewhere, or stolen from a Russian government laboratory, or used by an agent gone rogue.

Russian Federation has pledged to respond in kind and has been threatened to expel British diplomats from Moscow.

Meanwhile, British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson said Moscow had made a "deliberate political decision" to poison Skripal.

He said even the name Novichok was a "Western invention" and that Russian Federation never gave it a name.

Mirzayanov revealed details of Russia's chemical weapons in the 1990s because he said he was afraid of their impact.

"We do hold Russian Federation culpable for this brazen, brazen act and despicable act", Prime Minister Theresa May said during a visit to the site of the attack in Wiltshire. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said in the Guardian that it's possible that "Russian mafia-like groups", rather than the Russian state, were responsible.

He criticised the lack of transparency and said: "Nobody saw even the pictures of these people in a hospital, whether they are alive or maybe they are in good health".

And Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia had asked the United Kingdom to take action under the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Skripal betrayed dozens of Russian agents to British intelligence before his arrest in Moscow in 2004.