Britain set to announce action against Russia over spy poisoning


—Photo by AFP

LONDON: British Prime Minister Theresa May was expected to announce retaliatory action against Russia on Wednesday after Moscow rejected her “unfounded accusations” over the poisoning of a Russian former double agent on UK soil.

Relations between the two countries have deteriorated rapidly in the 10 days since ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were attacked with a nerve agent in sleepy Salisbury, southwest England.

The British premier said on Monday it was “highly likely” that Russia was behind the attack, either directly or because Moscow had “lost control” of the nerve agent, demanding answers by the end of Tuesday and threatening a “full range” of measures.

But Russia defied the deadline and President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman on Wednesday rejected Britain’s “unfounded accusations that are not based on evidence, and a language of ultimatums”.

“We are hoping that common sense will prevail,” Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

May is due to address parliament in the early afternoon after holding a meeting with her National Security Council to discuss the government’s next move.—AFP