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House of Lords' member: Russia sanctions over ex-spy poisoning inappropriate without proof

On Monday, UK Prime Minister Theresa May accused Moscow of being involved in the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergey Skripal

LONDON, March 13. /TASS/. Imposing new sanctions against Russia over the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergey Skripal and his daughter Yulia is inappropriate while Moscow's involvement is not proven, Baroness Caroline Cox, cross bench member of the British House of Lords, told TASS.

"Quite a lot of people are concerned about that. As far as I know, there is no interest in proving that it was a Russian initiative and I think that until it is proven it is very inappropriate to think about imposing sanctions," she said.

On Monday, UK Prime Minister Theresa May accused Russia of being involved in Skripal’s poisoning calling it a "reckless, indiscriminate and irresponsible" act against the United Kingdom. She claimed that the nerve gas had been developed in Russia. Russian Ambassador to the UK Alexander Yakovenko was summoned to the Foreign Office over the case.

May said that London expects an acceptable response from the Russian government by Wednesday.

"Should there be no credible response we will conclude that this action amounts to unlawful use of force by the Russian state against the United Kingdom," she said.

The British Prime Minister added that already on Wednesday London may consider a set of unilateral anti-Russian measures over that incident.

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova dubbed the comments of the UK Prime Minister as a ‘circus show’.

"This is a circus show in Britain’s parliament," she stressed. "The conclusion is obvious - a next political media campaign based on provocation," Zakharova said.

Skripal case

Former Russian military intelligence (GRU) Colonel Sergey Skripal, 66, and his 33-year-old daughter Yulia on March 4 suffered from the effects of a nerve agent. They were found unconscious on a shopping mall bench in Salisbury. Both are now in hospital in critical condition.

In 2004, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) arrested Skripal and later on, he was sentenced to 13 years in prison for high treason. Six years later, the former colonel was handed over to the US as part of a swap deal involving espionage suspects. Later that same year, Skripal settled down in Britain.