UK plays game of provocation in Skripal spy case: Russia

During Cold War, some rules were followed but now the situation has worsened with the UK and US playing children’s games, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (pictured)  said on the ongoing diplomatic standoff between the West and Moscow over the Skripal poisoning case, local media reports.

When the UK and US alleged that the order for poisoning the former Russian double agent Sergie Skripal living in England came from the very top, President Vladimir Putin said only someone highly biased who started a terrible and insane game of provocation can insist that Russia had a motive.

It is absurd to think that the Kremlin wanted to poison Skripal and his daughter Yulia, a Russian citizen, on the eve of presidential elections or three months ahead of the FIFA World Cup, Lavrov said.

On the tit-for-tat expulsion of diplomats, Lavrov said the West started it and they should stop it first.

“How far we go does not depend on us. In diplomacy, there is a principle of reciprocity, nobody cancelled it. This principle will be applied consistently …. We do not want to play children’s games as our (western) partners (US and UK) are exactly doing,” Sputnik quoted him.

Russia did not have any motive for poisoning Skripal who was released and pardoned in exchange for the representatives of Russia a few years ago. Had there been any claims on Skripal, he would not have been chosen for a spy swap, Lavrov said.

He hoped Skripal comes out of the coma like his daughter did last week.

Russia has proposed an extraordinary session of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Executive Council on April 4 to find the truth behind the poisoning case.

If London fails to answer Russia’s questions, it will mean that the entire incident was a provocation, Lavrov said.

Russia is also keen to know why France joined the Skripal case investigation.

Yury Filatov, Russia’s ambassador to Ireland, echoed Lavrov’s views. He said if the UK is unable to provide evidence of Russia’s involvement, “there are ample grounds to assume that we are dealing with a grand scale provocation organised in London aimed to discredit Russia.”