Russia lashes Tories as relations hit ‘low level’
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.”