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Moscow slams Britain's spy poison claims as 'attempt to discredit Russia'

AFP  |  Moscow 

today slammed Britain's accusations of involvement in the of a former double agent as an attempt to discredit and demanded that give it access to the

The Russian foreign ministry summoned the British to a meeting in over remarks by British that it was likely was behind the and that would consider ways of retaliating.

"Actions by the British authorities are openly provocative," said a statement by the Russian foreign ministry. "The incident is yet another dirty attempt by British authorities to discredit "

"Any threats of sanction measures against Russia will not be left without a response," it said.

Russian added that Britain should have sent an official request about the substance used on its soil.

Lavrov demanded to be given access to the substance used to poison former double agent and his daughter on March 4, which May said was a powerful called "Novichok" developed by the

"Through an official note we had demanded access to this substance," Lavrov said, adding that Russia also asked to be informed about the investigation. "Our requests have been denied."

He insisted that Moscow was not to blame for the of the former agent and was ready to cooperate with

"Russia is not guilty. Russia is ready to cooperate according to the Weapons Convention, if Britain takes the trouble and condescends to carry out its international obligations according to the same document," Lavrov told a press conference.

went as far as to say that the poisoning scandal was a planned attempt to meddle in Sunday's

"This is a planned action that is a form of influence on the campaign," he was quoted by Russian agencies as saying. "This is meddling in our business, our elections."

Britain's to Peter Wilson said London expected Russia to make a declaration to the weapons watchdog OPCW (Organisation for Prohibition of Weapons) about how the came to be used in Britain.

"What we want for the Russians today is to come clean about their chemical weapons programme," he told journalists.

Moscow's at the OPCW, Alexander Shulgin, said that London should "stop building up hysteria" and declared the ultimatum to provide information by the end of Tuesday "absolutely unacceptable."

"We will demand material proof of the alleged 'Russian trace' in this high-profile case," he said at The Hague, according to a foreign ministry statement.

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

First Published: Tue, March 13 2018. 21:45 IST