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Kremlin rejects 'unfounded accusations', ultimatums over poisoning row

AFP  |  Moscow 

Vladimir Putin's today rejected Britain's "unfounded accusations" and "ultimatums" over the poisoning of a former double agent in

"does not accept unfounded accusations that are not based on evidence and a language of ultimatums," told reporters.

"We are hoping that common sense will prevail," he said in the Kremlin's first public response to British accusations that was likely behind the attempted murder of former double agent

Yesterday, rejected British Theresa May's deadline to explain how a Russian former double agent was poisoned in with a highly toxic nerve agent invented by

"has nothing to do with the accident in Britain," Peskov said, reiterating was open to cooperate on the investigation.

He declined to comment on reports in the Western media on the possibility of invoking NATO's Article 5 principle of common defence, saying Moscow hopes other countries would see there was no evidence to blame for the poisoning attack.

"As far as a threat of isolation is concerned, we are hoping that common sense will prevail and other countries will at least think whether there is any proof or not and just how justified the rebukes against Moscow are," Peskov said.

is mooting possible punishment against Moscow, with British Ofcom saying it could review the licence of the Kremlin-backed broadcaster if Russian involvement in the poisoning was proven.

"Any illegal actions against any Russian in the will lead to retaliatory steps on the basis of reciprocity," Peskov said.

"What steps will it be? These would be steps that best suit Russia's interests," he added.

In a terse comment earlier this week, told the BBC: "Sort things out from your side and then we will discuss this with you.

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

First Published: Wed, March 14 2018. 16:05 IST