The Latest: Russia: ‘We will never bend under ultimatums’
MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on the international furor over the poisoning of a Russia ex-spy in England (all times local):
Russia’s foreign minister says Moscow will not succumb to Western pressure in the case of a Russian ex-spy poisoned in England.
Britain is blaming Moscow for the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter. Over two dozen Western allies have expelled more than 150 Russian diplomats in a show of solidarity.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met Monday with the expelled Russian diplomats, denouncing the West’s actions as the “unprecedented provocation.”
Lavrov said: “We will never bend under ultimatums. It’s not the language that they can use with Russia.”
Moscow fiercely denies being behind the attack on the Skripals. It responded to the expulsions of its envoys by ordering the same number of Western diplomats out of Russia.
Russian prosecutors say Britain’s accusations over the poisoning of an ex-spy in England are in keeping with its behavior in previous high-profile cases.
Britain has blamed Russia for the March 4 poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter. Russia fiercely denies the allegations.
Deputy Prosecutor General Saak Karapetian said Monday that the British government’s refusal to share evidence echoes the 2006 death in London of ex-KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko, who was poisoned with radioactive polonium.
Russia rejected the verdict of a British inquiry that Russian security services killed Litvinenko and accused Britain of manipulating evidence.
Karapetian also cited the death inquiry for Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky. Berezovsky died in Britain in 2013, and a coroner concluded it was impossible to say whether it was suicide or a slaying.