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Johnson: 'overwhelmingly likely' that Putin ordered spy nerve attack

Blaming Russia for Skripal attack is similar to ‘Jews poisoning our wells’ in Middle Ages

"We are profoundly disappointed at this development", the British Council said in a statement.

London and its allies have blamed Moscow for the attack and on Friday, Britain directly implicated Putin himself, unleashing the Kremlin's fury.

This diplomatic crisis has plunged Russia-U.K. relations to the lowest they've been since the Cold War.

On Friday, the U.K.'s foreign minister, Boris Johnson, blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin personally for the attack, telling an audience, "We think it overwhelmingly likely that it was his decision to direct the use of a nerve agent on the streets of the United Kingdom, on the streets of Europe, for the first time since the second World War". Their joint statement said there was "no plausible alternative explanation" to Russian Federation being to blame for the attack.

The ministry, on Saturday, handed Russia's response to the British sanctions to Laurie Bristow, UK ambassador to Russian Federation. "That is why, we are truly surprised", Peskov told newsmen.

Later in the day, Britain's Foreign Ministry said it had anticipated Russia's response and the National Security Council would meet early next week to consider next steps.

But a Russian scientist disclosed details of a secret program to manufacture the military-grade nerve agents in the 1990s, and later published the formula.

India downplays Pakistani envoy's recall over harassment incidents
Pakistani diplomatic sources that claim doorbells are being rung and phone calls being received by their diplomats at odd hours. He added: "Consultations by any resident ambassador/high commissioner with their headquarters is a matter for that country".

May said Britain would also freeze Russian state assets wherever there was evidence of a threat seen to strengthen its power to impose sanctions over human rights violations.

Speaking on Russia-24 television, Zakharova on Saturday linked Britain's angry reaction to the war in Syria.

Sergei Skripal moved to Salisbury after being jailed for passing Russian state secrets to British intelligence while working for the Russian government in the 1990s. With Russian help, Syrian forces have stepped up their offensive on rebel-held areas in recent days, leaving many dead.

"The Prime Minister set out a number of measures which we took to defend ourselves against this type of attack". Czech Foreign Minister Martin Stropnicky called it an "absurd accusation".

Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were found unconscious on a bench outside a shopping mall in the southern English city of Salisbury on March 4. "I have never heard about this programme, about these nerve agents".

Meanwhile new tensions have surfaced over the death this week of a London-based Russian businessman, Nikolai Glushkov.

Russian investigators said they had opened a criminal investigation into the attempted murder of Yulia Skripal and offered to cooperate with British authorities.

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