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The mysterious poisoning of the Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia took on a dimension of international plot on Monday.
British Prime Minister Theresa May said in parliament that she considered it “very likely” that Moscow was behind the incident , which occurred earlier this month in the city of Salisbury.
After a meeting with the National Security Council, May said that the nerve agent used for the poisoning is “similar” to one “military type developed by Russia”, called Novichok .
The prime minister indicated that her office summoned the Russian ambassador to London to explain if it was “a direct action of the Russian state” or the result of “losing control” of its reserve of neurotoxic agents.
The prime minister said that her country would consider the Russian response before deciding what action to take.
“If there is no credible answer, we will conclude that this action amounts to an illegal use of force by the Russian state against the United Kingdom,” he said.
The government of Vladimir Putin deniedpreviously his involvement in the case and offered help for the investigations.
After May’s remarks, the Russian Foreign Ministry rushed to dismiss the accusation and called it ” provocation ” and “fairy tale.”
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called May’s presentation “a circus show in the British parliament.”
“The conclusion is obvious: it is another campaign of information and politics based on provocation,” he said.
Earlier, the BBC asked Russian President Vladimir Putin about the case.
“Get to the bottom of things there, then we’ll discuss this,” was his response.
Skripal, 66, and her daughter, 33, were hospitalized in critical condition after being exposed to a nerve agent on March 4.
The covert former agent had been condemned in Russia in 2006 for spying for the United Kingdom and received in 2010 refuge in this country after an “exchange of spies” between the United States and Moscow.
May said British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson had asked the Russian diplomatic chief that Moscow should “immediately and fully disclose” the Novichok program to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
He added that the decision to point out a potential involvement of Moscow was based on “Russia’s record of carrying out state-sponsored assassinations and our assessment that Russia sees some deserters as legitimate targets of assassinations.”
Earlier, Johnson said that if there was any implication of Moscow in what happened, the United Kingdom would rethink the British participation in the 2018 World Cup.
“I think we’ll have to have a serious conversation about the commitment to Russia, and for my part, it will be very difficult to imagine that the UK representation in that event could continue normally, we would have to consider that,” he said during a meeting. intervention in the parliament.
Deaths of other relatives
Family members of Skripal assured the Russian BBC service that the ex-spy believed that the Russian special services could go after him at any time, after a series of “mysterious” deaths of some of his closest relatives.
And is that both the wife of the former, his older brother and his son died in the last two years, some in circumstances not clarified, according to the family.
The daughter, meanwhile, resided in Moscow and had regularly visited her father in the UK since 2016, according to authorities.
The British authorities announced last week that they would also investigate these deaths.
The incident of Skripal and her daughter recalled the case of the Russian atones Alexander Litvinenko, who also suffered a similar situation in 2006.
At that time, weeks passed to establish that he had been deliberately poisoned and it took almost a decade before an investigation pointed to the Russian state as responsible