Vladimir Putin 'personally ordered United Kingdom nerve agent attack on spy'

Vladimir Putin 'personally ordered United Kingdom nerve agent attack on spy'

The war of words between the West and Moscow escalated yesterday after Boris Johnson directly accused Vladimir Putin of ordering the nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy on United Kingdom soil.

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

Peskov emphasized that "we have repeatedly said that Russian Federation has no relation to that".

The Foreign Secretary stated that it was "overwhelmingly likely" that the Russian President personally directed the assassination attempt on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury just over 10 days ago.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said that it's "overwhelmingly likely" that Putin ordered the use of a nerve agent against former spy Sergei Skripal in the English city of Salisbury. "We asked for samples of the substance used to assist in a joint investigation", he reported, but "this request was ignored".

British Prime Minister Theresa May's office says Australian leader Malcolm Turnbull has joined her in condemnation of the nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in southwestern England.

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.

Russia's envoy at the global chemical weapons watchdog says Britain and the USA both have access to the nerve agent used in the poisoning of the ex-spy in Britain.

Russia's Defence Ministry said he was an "intellectual impotent" and Lavrov said he probably lacked education.

Vil Mirzayanov, who now lives in New Jersey, is quoted in Novaya Gazeta as saying it's unlikely the nerve agent came from another former Soviet country as Russians have suggested. "There is to be no Russophobia as a result of what is happening", Johnson told reporters at the Battle of Britain bunker from which World War Two fighter operations were controlled.

After the first known offensive use of such a weapon in Europe since World War II, May pointed the finger squarely at President Vladimir Putin and gave the 23 Russians, who she said were spies working under diplomatic cover at the London embassy a week to leave.

Britain has blamed Russia for the poisoning and announced the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats.

Counterterrorism police are leading the investigation "because of the associations Mr. Glushkov is believed to have had", a police statement said.

On Thursday, the United States issued a joint statement with France, Germany and the UK condemning the nerve agent attack as "an assault on UK sovereignty" and saying there was "no plausible alternative explanation" than that Russian Federation was responsible. Corbyn said in the Guardian that it's possible that "Russian mafia-like groups", rather than the Russian state, were responsible.

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