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Russia to ignore UK ultimatum on ex-spy, demands 'poison' evidence

IANS  |  Moscow 

will not respond to UK's demand for information on a "Russian-made" nerve agent used in a suspected assassination attempt on a former double agent in England, until the country is provided access to a sample of the substance, Russian said on Tuesday.

was responding to British leader Theresa May's ultimatum to hand over information regarding a supposedly Russian-made Novichok nerve agent that the UK believed was used to poison Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, who remained in a critical condition after they were found slumped over a park bench in Salisbury on March 4.

"We have certainly heard the ultimatum from London," told press in "As soon as the rumours arose that the of Skripal involved a Russian-produced agent, which are being fanned by the British leadership, we immediately requested a sample in accordance with the Chemical Weapons Convention," he said.

So far, the has denied access to the nerve agent, he was quoted as saying by News agency.

has repeatedly denied any knowledge of the Skripal case but, on Monday, British May told members of Parliament that it was "highly likely" that was behind the attack.

The attack also left a in a serious condition and forced authorities to cordon off the area around the restaurant and pub where police suspect the alleged took place.

"Either this was a direct action by the Russian state against our country, or the lost control of its potentially catastrophically damaging nerve agent and allowed it to get into the hands of others," May said.

of the Valdis Dombrovskis said the EU stood by the UK in the case. The commissioner for economic and financial affairs, Pierre Moscovici, said the issue was being followed closely by the bloc.

Amid the ongoing investigation, the UK's foreign office summoned Russian while the on Tuesday said it too had summoned UK

US said the US supported the UK's assessment that "Russia was likely responsible".

Novichok is a series a group of military-grade nerve agents known to have been developed by the

has repeatedly denied any involvement in the Skripal case and had put it down to anti-Russian sentiment in the UK.

Skripal was a retired Russian who went on to to work as a double agent, supplying state secrets to agencies. He was convicted of high treason in Moscow in 2004 but released in a prisoner swap in 2010 and granted asylum in the UK.

The Skripal case has brought UK-Russia relations to its lowest ebb in years.



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First Published: Tue, March 13 2018. 18:34 IST