UK authorities would be foolish not to investigate connections with Russia in the investigation of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal, The Henry Jackson Society has said.
Skripal and a women believed to be his daughter are in a critical condition in hospital. It is thought they may have been poisoned whilst visiting a shopping centre in Wiltshire. Some are suspicious that Russia may be involved in the attack, however this has not been confirmed.
Dr Andrew Foxall, the director of the Russia Studies Centre at The Henry Jackson Society think tank, told Mike Graham and Katie Perrior: "At the moment the incident in Salisbury with Sergei Skripal, we simply don't know enough at the moment.
"However given his connections to the Russian state I think it would be foolish if UK authorities were not exploring the Russian connection."
Whilst it is not known whether Russia was involved at all in the incident, "what is clear is Russia has a history of state-sponsored assassination including in the UK and on UK streets.
"High profile Russians or Russian dissidents or Russian opposition figures have died in the UK under quite suspicious circumstances."
But, he aded, "there’s a danger of believing that everything that takes place in Russia comes directly from President Putin.
"I think it’s very unlikely that President Putin gave an order" to attack Skripal or assassinate any other Russians in what appear to be similar circumstances.
"I think what Putin has done is create the conditions in which it’s perfectly acceptable for these actions to happen."
Foxall revealed: "There are likely upwards of 30 Russian spies in the UK at any one time and they will be engaged will the usual kind of spy craft intelligence gathering the kind of spy craft made famous in James Bond and Tom Clancy's novel thrillers."
Listen to the full interview above