Kremlin demands apology from British PM over spy row ‘idiocy’

Putin spokesman says Theresa May and Foreign Secretary Johnson must now find way to ‘look EU colleagues in the eye’

People with suitcases leave the Russian Embassy in London, March 20, 2018. (Frank Augstein/AP)
People with suitcases leave the Russian Embassy in London, March 20, 2018. (Frank Augstein/AP)

MOSCOW, Russia — The Kremlin has demanded an apology from British Prime Minister Theresa May and her government for implicating President Vladimir Putin in the nerve agent attack on a former double agent, saying this “idiocy has gone too far.”

“Their theory will not be confirmed in any case because it is not possible to confirm it,” Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on a visit to Ankara Tuesday evening.

“And the British foreign minister who has made accusations against President Putin, (and) the British prime minister will have to somehow look their EU colleagues… in the eye,” Peskov added in televised remarks.

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May speaks in the House of Commons in London, Monday, March 12, 2018. May said her government has concluded it is “highly likely” Russia is responsible for the poisoning of an ex-spy and his daughter. (PA via AP)

“And somehow they will have to apologize before the Russian side,” he added. “It will certainly be a long story, the idiocy has gone too far.”

The March 4 attack on former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the English city of Salisbury has triggered a wave of tit-for-tat expulsions of diplomats between the West and Russia and sent relations plunging to new post-Cold War lows.

Former Russian military intelligence colonel Sergei Skripal attends a hearing at the Moscow District Military Court in Moscow on August 9, 2006. (AFP PHOTO / Kommersant Photo / Yuri SENATOROV)

Britain has said it is “highly likely” that Russia was responsible for the attack using the Soviet-designed Novichok nerve agent, but Moscow has angrily denied any involvement.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has pointed the finger at Putin himself, saying it was “overwhelmingly likely” that the Kremlin leader ordered the attack.

The British military facility analyzing the nerve agent said on Tuesday it could not prove the substance was made in Russia.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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