U.K. spy U.K.’s Johnson says probably behind ex-spy attack; Kremlin lashes out

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has said it is “overwhelmingly likely” that President Vladimir Putin made the decision to use a highly toxic chemical against a former double agent in England. “We have nothing against the Russians themselves. There is to be no Russophobia as a result of what is happening,” Johnson said on 16 March6, nearly two weeks after former spy and his daughter, Yulia, were exposed to what British authorities say was a potent nerve agent developed in the Soviet Union. “Our quarrel is with Putin’s Kremlin, and with his decision — and we think it overwhelmingly likely that it was his decision — to direct the use of a nerve agent on the streets of the U.K., on the streets of Europe for the first time since the Second World War,” Johnson said.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has said it is “overwhelmingly likely” that Russian President Vladimir Putin made the decision to use a highly toxic chemical against a former double agent in England, prompting a swift and angry response in which the Kremlin called his remarks “shocking and unforgivable.”

“We have nothing against the Russians themselves. There is to be no Russophobia as a result of what is happening,” Johnson said on 16 March6, nearly two weeks after former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, were exposed to what British authorities say was a potent nerve agent developed in the Soviet Union.

“Our quarrel is with Putin’s Kremlin, and with his decision — and we think it overwhelmingly likely that it was his decision — to direct the use of a nerve agent on the streets of the U.K., on the streets of Europe for the first time since the Second World War,” Johnson said. It was the first time a high-level official has clearly specified that Putin may have ordered the poisoning, which police are treating as attempted murder.

Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said shortly afterwards that any suggestion that Putin was involved is “a shocking and unforgivable of the diplomatic rules of decent behavior.” He repeated the Kremlin’s claim that “ has nothing to do with this story.”

Meanwhile, Russian authorities said they have opened their own investigation into what they also classified as the attempted murder of Yulia Skripal, 33, who they said is a Russian citizen. The federal Investigative Committee, which answers to Putin, also said it opened an investigation into what it called the “murder” of Nikolai Glushkov, a Russian businessman who was found dead at his London home earlier this week.



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