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Highly likely Russia behind spy poisoning: Briish PM

Press Trust of India  |  London 

British today said it was "highly likely" that was behind the of a former Russian and his daughter with a deadly "military-grade" last week, further deteriorating bilateral ties with

Former Russian Sergei Skripal, 66 and his daughter Yulia, 33 were found collapsed after being poisoned on Sunday afternoon.

Skripal and remain in a serious condition along with a who came in contact with the same substance.

May today chaired a meeting of the (NSC) to assess the intelligence around the poisoning, reported.

"This attempted murder using a weapons-grade in a British town was not just a crime against the Skripals. It was an indiscriminate and reckless act against the United Kingdom, putting the lives of innocent civilians at risk," May said in a statement.

"And we will not tolerate such a brazen attempt to murder innocent civilians on our soil," she added.

The said the government had concluded it was "highly likely" that was responsible for the attack on Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury on March 4.

She said Russia's in had been summoned to explain whether it was "a direct action by the Russian state" or the result of it "losing control" of its stock of nerve agents.

has continued to deny any Kremlin involvement, but the attack has been compared to the murder of former agent Alexander Litvinenko, who ingested the rare and highly radioactive polonium 210 in 11 years ago. The incident had hit ties between and

Skripal was convicted of treason in 2006 and jailed for 13 years for selling secrets to MI6, which had recruited him in the 1990s. The with Russian military intelligence GRU, was pardoned in a swap in 2010 and settled in Salisbury, Wiltshire.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, March 12 2018. 23:30 IST