MOSCOW, October 3. /TASS. Russian President Vladimir Putin slammed former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal branding him 'scum' and a 'traitor.'
"Some media outlets are trying to put forward the idea that Skripal was pracitically a human rights defender," Putin said. "He is simply a spy and a traitor to his country. He is just scum and that is it."
According to the Russian president, the Skripal poisoning case is artificially being blown out of proportion.
"A separate media campaign was put in place regarding this issue," Putin said. "I think this will blow over sooner or later. I hope that it will come to an end, and the sooner the better."
"All this squabbling between the special services didn’t just surface yesterday," he said. "As we all know, espionage just like prostitution is one of the world’s most important professions. No one has ever shut it down, nor is anyone still able to close it down."
Former Russian military intelligence (GRU) Colonel Sergei Skripal, 66, who had been convicted in Russia of spying for Great Britain and later swapped for Russian intelligence officers, and his daughter Yulia, 33, suffered the effects of a nerve agent in the British city of Salisbury on March 4.
Claiming that the substance used in the attack had been a Novichok-class nerve agent developed in the Soviet Union, London rushed to accuse Russia of being involved in the incident.
Moscow rejected all of the United Kingdom’s accusations, saying that neither the Soviet Union nor Russia had ever had any program aimed at developing such an agent. Britain’s military chemical laboratory at Porton Down failed to establish the origin of the substance that poisoned the Skripals.