Monday, February 26

Putin slams ungrounded accusations over UK nerve agent attack



Vladimir Putin has addressed the Novichok poisonings in the UK as he was asked why so many of his political opponents end up dead.

The Russian president slammed the ‘ungrounded accusations’ against Moscow over the nerve agent attack which left one woman dead and three people in comas.

And the former KGB agent failed to answer a bold question from a Fox News host about the mysterious deaths of his enemies.

In an exclusive interview , following his summit with Donald Trump in Helsinki yesterday, journalist Chris Wallace asked Putin outright why so many people who oppose him end up dead.

The news anchor listed a number of Russians who have been targeted, including former double agent Sergei Skripal and Boris Nemtsov, a Russian politician who was shot dead outside the Kremlin.

Putin at first claimed we all have political rivals I’m pretty sure President Trump has plenty of political rivals to which Wallace replied: But they don’t end up dead.

Putin skirted around the question, referring instead to the assassinations of President John F Kennedy and political activist, Dr Martin Luther King Jr.

Putin said: Haven’t presidents been killed in the United States? Was Kennedy killed in Russia or in the United States? Or Mr King?

Yes we do have crime in Russia and we persecute people for these crimes.

He continued: Since you mention the Skripal case, we would like to get at least some sort of a document or evidence about it but nobody gives it to us.

It’s the same thing as the accusations of meddling in the election process in America.

We’ve recently heard that two more people suffered from the same nerve agent that is called Novichok but I’ve never even heard the last names of these persons. Who are they?

What kind of package? What kind of bottle? What’s the chemical formula? Who got it?

Maybe there are reasons within the United Kingdom but nobody wants to look at the issue now, they just see the ungrounded accusations.

Why should it be done this way? Our relationship is made worse because of this.

Yesterday, it was claimed that the nerve agent which poisoned two people in Amesbury, Wiltshire, was inside a perfume bottle. Matthew Rowley revealed that his brother Charlie who remains seriously ill in hospital said he had picked up the perfume bottle, the BBC reports.

Labourer Charlie and his partner, Dawn, 44, fell ill at his home on June 30 after being exposed to Novichok, the nerve agent used to poison Russian spy Skripal and daughter Yulia in nearby Salisbury in March.

A murder investigation was launched after mum-of-three Dawn died on July 8.

The claim the substance was in a perfume bottle raises the question of whether Dawn sprayed the substance on herself, the Telegraph reports. Dawn’s heartbroken son, Ewan Hope, begged Donald Trump and Theresa May to force Russia to hand over her killers.

Ewan, 19, said: I don’t share Donald Trump’s politics and I’ll never be a supporter of his, but I would like him to raise mum’s case with the Russian President. We need to get justice for my mum. I’m so angry with her killers.

Trump, however, was denounced around the world for turning on his own ­intelligence chiefs to side with Russia and Putin over the Kremlin’s interference in the 2016 US election.

Trump was branded a spineless traitor for siding with his rival and calling an FBI probe into claims Putin ­influenced the election ridiculous.

During a joint press conference in Helsinki, which was briefly delayed when a protester was removed, the president insisted: There was no collusion at all.

I have President Putin, he said it’s not Russia. I will say this: ‘I don’t see any reason why it would be.

Russia has been accused of ‘war crimes’ against the UK following the Novichok poisonings in Amesbury and Salisbury.

Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, said the use of a deadly nerve agent was an absolutely vile act of terror as police raced to find a contaminated item that left a couple critically ill.

The Tory MP defended police and authorities after questions were raised over the effectiveness of a decontamination operation launched in the wake of the attempted assassination of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in March.

He also said the perpetrators may have escaped detection due to Britain not being a security state.

To use a persistent nerve agent in a civilian area is extraordinary, it’s a war crime, it’s an absolutely vile act of terror that is being conducted by a state that claims to be a normal state, he told the BBC.

So the idea that the police weren’t ready for that is really hardly surprising. It would be a bit much to expect the constabulary to be ready for it or indeed to expect the local authority to be entirely able to clean up after it.

The former lieutenant colonel said responsibility for the incidents lies pretty clearly in the Kremlin, who are willing to use a persistent nerve agent among civilian communities.

More than 100 counter-terrorism detectives have been assigned to a huge investigation to establish how Ms Sturgess and Mr Rowley were exposed to the nerve agent, and determine whether there is any firm link to the Salisbury attack.

Mr Tugenhadt said: I’m afraid this is something that the police and the intelligence services are going to have to work very carefully on and it’s a very difficult problem because, actually, we don’t run a security state in the UK, we don’t spy on everybody and so it’s true that people can pass unnoticed and that appears to be what’s happened here.