Rus­sia lashes Tories as re­la­tions hit ‘low level’

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - NEWS -

LON­DON: Rus­sia’s am­bas­sador has ac­cused Bri­tain of wag­ing an “ag­gres­sive an­tiRus­sian cam­paign” that has left re­la­tions be­tween the two coun­tries at a “very low level”.

Alexan­der Yakovenko also dis­missed high-pro­file claims of cy­ber at­tacks by the Rus­sian GRU mil­i­tary in­tel­li­gence agency and in­volve­ment in the Sal­is­bury nerve agent in­ci­dent.

He said a four-man GRU “close ac­cess” team ac­cused by the Bri­tish and Dutch of try­ing to hack the Or­gan­i­sa­tion for the Pro­hi­bi­tion of Chem­i­cal Weapons in The Hague was in the city for rou­tine se­cu­rity checks at the Rus­sian em­bassy.

He said UK au­thor­i­ties were con­tin­u­ing to refuse to co-op­er­ate with Moscow over the probe into the at­tempted poi­son­ing of for­mer spy Sergei Skri­pal in Sal­is­bury and the mur­der in Lon­don of Rus­sian busi­ness­man Niko­lai Glushkov.

He claimed the UK was try­ing to di­vert at­ten­tion from the Sal­is­bury in­ci­dent and Brexit in a “well-or­ches­trated cam­paign” to dis­credit his coun­try.

“The rea­son for that lies in an ag­gres­sive anti-Rus­sian cam­paign launched by the … Tory Gov­ern­ment,” he said.

“The bi­lat­eral high-level po­lit­i­cal di­a­logue is cur­rently frozen. That was not our ini­tia­tive. That was the ini­tia­tive of the Bri­tish Gov­ern­ment.”

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