Britain slams 'absurd' Russian denials of spy poisoning

The Labour leader was criticised for his comments about Russian donors

The Labour leader was criticised for his comments about Russian donorsPA

"We actually have evidence within the last 10 years that Russian Federation has not only been investigating the delivery of nerve agents for the purposes of assassination, but has also been creating and stockpiling Novichok", Johnson said on BBC. "This is a classic Russian strategy of trying to hide the needle of truth in a haystack of lies and obfuscation".

Russia's Foreign Ministry ordered the expulsion of 23 British diplomats from Russia on Saturday in a tit-for-tat response to Britain's decision to expel Russian envoys in connection with the poisoning of a former Russian double agent and his daughter on British soil.

Prime Minister Theresa May told MPs last week that the substance used in the attack had been identified as belonging to a group of military-grade nerve agents known as Novichok, developed by the Soviet Union.

Russian Federation denies any involvement and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused London of behaving in a "boorish" way, adding that this was partly due to the problems Britain faces over its planned exit from the European Union next year.

Lauri Bristow, the U.K.'s ambassador to Russia, was summoned to the Foreign Ministry and handed a note listing countermeasures taken by Moscow in response to "provocative actions of the British side" over attempted murder of a former Russian spy and his daughter in the southern English city of Salisbury.

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However, the Russian president, who has won the election granting him a fourth term in office, said he is willing to work with London on the probe.

He added: 'We are ready to take part in the investigation'.

Mr Johnson will travel to Brussels to brief foreign ministers from across the European Union at a meeting on Monday on the attempted assassinations before holding talks North Atlantic Treaty Organisation secretary general Jens Stoltenberg.

LONDON - Britain's foreign minister said Sunday that he has evidence Russian Federation has been stockpiling a nerve agent in violation of global law "very likely for the purposes of assassination".

Mr Shulgin added: "For sure they will not be able to tell where the substance came from - this will require dialogue between Russian Federation and the United Kingdom".

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The prime minister has said the United Kingdom government would consider its next steps "in the coming days, alongside our allies and partners".

Johnson called the accusation "satirical", adding it was "not the response of a country that really believes itself it to be innocent".

Sweden and the Czech Republic denied Russian suggestions they may have been the source of the nerve agent.

"Where people have obtained wealth by corruption and where we can see a link with the Kremlin, with Vladimir Putin, it may be possible to have unexplained wealth orders and other sanctions on those individuals", Johnson said.

Johnson also said Britain would target wealth linked to the Kremlin as a further measure following the spy poisoning. "I think that they are trying to make some kind of diversion from the real issues here", she said.

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"We said it right away", he said.

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