Salisbury poisoning: Russia warns Britain it's 'playing with fire and will be sorry'

Salisbury poisoning: Russia warns Britain it's 'playing with fire and will be sorry'

Vasily Nebenzya mocked suggestions of Russia's involvement

Friday, April 6, 2018

Russia has warned Britain is "playing with fire and will be sorry" over the Salisbury attack after it emerged Yulia Skripal's strength is "growing daily".

The UK and Russia referenced British dramas and the Nazis as they traded jibes at the United Nations.

The UK argued that doubt should not be cast on the likelihood of Russian responsibility for the Novichok nerve agent incident and that British actions "stand up to any scrutiny".

But Russian UN ambassador Vasily Nebenzya pointed to Midsomer Murders and read from Alice's Adventures In Wonderland to mock suggestions of Russian involvement.

Nebenzya said characters in Midsomer Murders knew "hundreds of very clever ways of killing someone" but those who sought to kill the Skripals "supposedly chose an extremely toxic chemical substance, the most risky, dangerous method possible" and "didn't really finish the job".

He claimed the UK's main argument about the "unquestionable Russian origin" of the Novichok is "no longer valid" following comments from Gary Aitkenhead, of defence research laboratory Porton Down.

Nebenzya later accused the West of "using the method of Dr Goebbels, lies that are repeated a thousand times become the truth" by trying to manipulate people via the media.

Moscow had called the UN Security Council meeting to discuss the incident, with foreign minister Sergey Lavrov saying the UK has "legitimate questions" to answer about what happened.

But UK security minister Ben Wallace said it was "beyond reasonable doubt" that Russia was to blame for the attack, as the UK sought to maintain diplomatic pressure over the incident.

Earlier, Yulia Skripal, in her first statement since coming out of a coma, said: "I woke up over a week ago now and am glad to say my strength is growing daily. I am grateful for the interest in me and for the many messages of goodwill that I have received."

Russian media reported that Skripal had told her cousin Viktoria that her father Sergei was "alright", adding: "Everyone is recovering, everyone survived...no irreparable harm was done. That's all, I will soon be discharged from the hospital."

On Wednesday (April 4), Russia lost a vote at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague on its demand for its experts to be involved in testing samples of the substance used in the Salisbury attack.