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Russian ambassador denounces 'aggressive' Britain

AFP  |  London 

UK-relations have plunged to a "very low level", Russian said Friday, due to what he claimed was an "aggressive anti-Russian campaign" by the

dismissed claims that the two chief suspects in the attempted murder of former Russian double agent were state intelligence officers operating under aliases.

And at a press conference at his official residence in London, said there was no reason to disbelieve their claims to be simple tourists.

The British group has published what it says are the real identities of both suspects in the poisoning of Skripal and his daughter in the British city of in March.

After scouring open-source material, it identified the men as officials in the military intelligence agency and gave their real names as and

The men claim they are and Alexander Petrov, two friends who work in sports nutrition and were visiting due to an interest in its cathedral architecture.

Yakovenko claimed has "very close links to the British special services" and was "the tool of the deep establishment to leak certain things", he said.

Asked to back up his claims, Yakovenko replied: "I cannot present you the evidence. This is some kind of information that we have." He claimed was the victim of an "aggressive anti-Russian campaign" by the British government, a "well-orchestrated campaign" to discredit Russia, supported by UK media.

Yakovenko said the Skripal suspects had officially confirmed their identities in a television interview and denied they were working for the GRU.

"We don't have any reasons not to trust them," he explained.

Asked about claims of GRU international computer hacking attempts, including at the in The Hague, he said: "of course I deny".

He said was readying to ask "a lot of questions" at the OPCW in the coming days.

Skripal's daughter was also poisoned in March. She has recovered and made a televised statement saying she did not wish to avail herself of the Russian embassy's offers of assistance.

"We want to hear that personally," Yakovenko said.

"Then we will see if she is under pressure or not. Today, we cannot make this conclusion." He added: "I would like to see the end of this story.

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

First Published: Sat, October 13 2018. 00:15 IST
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