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Spy poisoning fake story, UK playing with fire: Russian Ambassador to UN

Moscow called the special meeting of the Security Council in New York to discuss the attack, saying Britain had "legitimate questions" to answer

IANS  |  Moscow 

Vasily Nebenzia
Vasily Nebenzia (Photo: https://twitter.com/indiadayafter)

Russia, at a meeting, has accused the of inventing a "fake story" and warned that it was "playing with fire" by blaming for the of a Russian former and his daughter on British soil.

At the meeting on Thursday, Moscow's UN said Britain's main goal had been "to discredit and even delegitimize" with "unsubstantiated accusations", the reported.

The Russian UN warned "we have told our British colleagues that they are playing with fire and they will be sorry".

Britain had blamed for the nerve agent attack on former Russian double agent and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury on March 4. But denies it.

was recovering in hospital and released a statement on Thursday, saying her "strength was growing daily". Her father remained critically ill but stable.

Moscow called the special meeting of the in to discuss the attack, saying Britain had "legitimate questions" to answer.

Nebenzia said the accusations were "horrific and unsubstantiated" and claimed the UK was waging a "propaganda war" against

He said Novichok -- the nerve agent used in the -- was "not copyrighted by Russia, in spite of the obviously Russian name" and was 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.

Responding, the British to the UN, Karen Pierce, accused of seeking to "undermine the institutions".

She said Russia came under suspicion for several reasons, saying it had "a record of conducting state-sponsored assassinations" and that it "views defectors as suitable targets for assassination".

Pierce told delegates that Russia's request to visit had been passed on and "we await her response".

The UN meeting came amid an escalating diplomatic crisis between Moscow and the West as 60 expelled US envoys left Russia on Thursday. Over 20 countries expelled Russian envoys in solidarity with the UK, following Britain's initial expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats.

On Wednesday, Moscow failed in its efforts to persuade the (OPCW) to allow a joint UK-Russia investigation into the attack.

The OPCW is already carrying out an independent investigation at the UK's request and expects to receive the results of its analysis within a week. Britain is also carrying out its own inquiry with support from the OPCW.

First Published: Fri, April 06 2018. 18:41 IST
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