Posted on April 6, 2018
Russia has accused the UK of inventing a “fake story” and “playing with fire” over the Salisbury spy poisoning.
At a UN Security Council meeting, Moscow’s UN ambassador Vasily Nebenzia said Britain’s main goal had been “to discredit and even delegitimise” Russia with “unsubstantiated accusations”.
The UK says Russia is behind the attack but Moscow denies responsibility.
Britain’s UN representative Karen Pierce said the UK’s actions “stand up to any scrutiny”.
She likened Moscow’s requests to take part in the investigation to an arsonist investigating his own fire.
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Russian former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious in Salisbury on 4 March.
Her father, 66, remains critically ill but stable.
Meanwhile it has emerged that when police sealed off Mr Skripal’s home at the start of the investigation. there were two guinea pigs and a cat inside. The BBC understands the guinea pigs died of starvation and the cat, distressed from dehydration, was put down.
Moscow called the special meeting of the Security Council in New York to discuss the attack, saying Britain had “legitimate questions” to answer.
Mr Nebenzia said the accusations were “horrific and unsubstantiated”, and claimed the UK was waging a “propaganda war” against Russia.
He said Novichok – the group of nerve agent used in the poisoning – is “not copyrighted by Russia, in spite of the obviously Russian name” and has been developed in many countries.
“It’s some sort of theatre of the absurd. Couldn’t you come up with a better fake story?” he asked.
In his statement to the 15-member council, Mr Nebenzia questioned why Russia would eliminate someone using a “dangerous and highly public” method.
He contrasted the use of a chemical with the “hundreds of clever ways of killing someone” shown in British series Midsomer Murders.