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“A traitor to his homeland”: Putin lashes out and calls poisoned spy Sergei Skripal “junk”

The Russian president has repeatedly denied that his country was responsible for the attack on Salisbury Novichok, saying there was no reason to eliminate Skripal

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(Bloomberg) – President Vladimir Putin has criticized ex-spy Sergei Skripal as “junk” and “traitor” in his harshest public response to date to accusations that Russia targeted double agent in of the first chemical weapons attack in Europe since World War II.

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Skripal, who survived a nerve agent poisoning in March in the English town of Salisbury with his daughter Yulia, is “just a spy, a traitor to his homeland,” Putin told a forum on Wednesday. on energy in Moscow. “He’s just a bastard.”

The Russian president has repeatedly denied that his country was responsible for the attack, saying there was no reason to eliminate Skripal, who was released during a spy swap in 2010. “We released him and that’s it, he’s gone. He continued to cooperate, to consult certain special services there. So what? ”Putin said.

In this photo released by the Metropolitan Police, Salisbury Novichok poisoning suspects Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov are shown on CCTV on Fisherton Road, Salisbury on March 4, 2018.
In this photo released by the Metropolitan Police, Salisbury Novichok poisoning suspects Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov are shown on CCTV on Fisherton Road, Salisbury on March 4, 2018. Metropolitan Police Photo via Getty Images

An “information campaign” around the Skripal affair has been “artificially blown up,” Putin said.

He played down allegations that two Russian agents also inadvertently poisoned a British woman in the attack. “I sometimes look at what’s going on around this case and I’m just surprised: guys have shown up and started poisoning homeless people over there in Britain. What kind of nonsense is this?

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The Skripal affair has plunged already icy relations between Russia and the United Kingdom into crisis. Britain won the support of its allies for the coordinated expulsion of more than 150 Russian diplomats, prompting a tit-for-tat response. The United States has also imposed sanctions for the attack and is threatening further punitive measures.

The UK has accused two Russian military intelligence agents of committing poisoning using a nerve agent called Novichok smuggled into a fake bottle of Nina Ricci perfume.


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