Russian ambassador says UK response to spy poisoning is 'unacceptable and we consider this a provocation'

Alexander Vladimirovich Yakovenko calls on Theresa May to 'follow international law' 

Wednesday 14 March 2018 13:45 GMT
Russian Ambassador to the UK says the British Government response to Salisbury is 'absolutely unacceptable and we consider this a provocation'

The Russian Ambassador to the UK has said that the British government's response to the poisoning of Sergei Skripal has been "absolutely unacceptable" and is being considered a "provocation".

Alexander Vladimirovich Yakovenko also said that Russia was not going to respond to any ultimatums that had been issued by Theresa May, who had demanded explanations about how the former spy was poisoned in Salisbury.

Speaking after a meeting with the Foreign Office Mr Yakovenko called on the Prime Minister to "follow international law".

"Everything that has been done today by the British government is absolutely unacceptable and we consider this a provocation," Mr Yovenko told Sky News.

"We believe the UK should follow international law and under this obligation of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons they have to present the request to the organisation.

"We are happy to consider this within ten days. That is the international law."

The comments came as Britain called for an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the attack.

Ms May has won the backing of German, French, US and other European leaders as she attempts to push for consequences for Mr Putin, after blaming him for being behind the attack in Salisbury which also left dozens of civilians needing treatment.

The Prime Minister also announced the biggest expulsion of Russian spies from the UK for more than 30 years.

Speaking in the Commons, Ms May said Vladimir Putin had responded to her demand to explain the “reckless and despicable act” in Salisbury with “sarcasm, contempt and defiance”.

She concluded that that was "no alternative" other than the Russian state was responsible for the incident.

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