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Europe unpredictable and aggressive: Russia on Skripal case

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov

Russia says it is extremely uncomfortable with a recent stance by European countries on the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Britain.

"It's a big discomfort for us to have unpredictable and aggressive counterparts. But this is the reality we have to live with," RIA news agency quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying on Saturday.

He added that Moscow would not "lose momentum" in conveying its points about the case to European states.

The Skripals were found unconscious on March 4 on a bench in the British city of Salisbury. They remain hospitalized in critical condition.

Britain claims the Soviet-designed Novichok nerve agent has been used to poison the pair and points the finger at Russia.

Moscow has rejected the claims as “absurd,” saying the substance used in the attack could have originated from the countries studying it, including Britain itself.

The European Union on Thursday recalled its envoy to Moscow over the nerve agent attack as several members of the bloc consider expelling Russian diplomats.

EU leaders issued a statement in Brussels, saying it is “highly likely Russia is responsible” for poisoning the Soviet-era spy and his daughter, Yulia, in a British town.

Moscow has repeatedly called on London not to jump to conclusions, offering cooperation with London in probing the case.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday warned Britain against more anti-Moscow measures over allegations of its involvement in the poisoning of the former double-agent and his daughter, vowing that his country would “hit back” if London fails to stop such a trend.

“If the British government continues taking some anti-Russian measures, we will hit back under the principle of reciprocity,” Lavrov said during a visit to Japan.

Meanwhile, the head of the Russian foreign ministry's non-proliferation department, Vladimir Yermakov, also said on the same day that Britain may have been behind Skripals' poisoning, deepening the diplomatic crisis between London and Moscow.

Speaking at a remarkable briefing given for all foreign ambassadors in Russia, Yermakov added that London is hiding facts and could destroy key evidence in the nerve agent attack.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on March 18 accused Russia of stockpiling nerve agents “within the last 10 years,” to allegedly use it for assassination.

“We actually have evidence within the last 10 years that Russia has not only been investigating the delivery of nerve agents for the purpose of assassination, but has also been creating and stockpiling Novichok,” he said.

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