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UK to consider measures against Russia over Skripal case — source

On March 12, British Prime Minister Theresa May said it was highly likely that Russia was responsible for the attack on former Russian military intelligence Colonel Sergei Skripal

LONDON, March 13. /TASS/. On Wednesday, London will consider the measures that may be taken against Moscow over the incident involving former Russian military intelligence Colonel Sergei Skripal, a source in the British prime minister’s office told TASS on Tuesday.

"The National Security Council will meet on Wednesday to consider this issue," the source said.

Skripal incident

On March 4, Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, suffered from effects of an unknown nerve agent. They were found unconscious on a bench in a park near the Maltings shopping center in the British city of Salisbury. Both are currently in hospital in critical condition.

Skripal was arrested by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) in December 2004. An investigation revealed that back in 1995, he had been recruited by the British intelligence to provide information constituting state secrets. In August 2006, the Moscow District Military Court sentenced Skripal to 13 years in a maximum security correctional facility, also stripping him of his military rank and state awards. In 2010, when Russia and the United States carried out a spy swap, Skripal was handed over to the US alongside three other convicts, while Moscow received ten Russian citizens in return. In the same year, he settled in the United Kingdom.

On March 12, British Prime Minister Theresa May said it was highly likely that Russia was responsible for the attack on Skripal and his daughter. She identified the substance used in the attack as a Novichok nerve agent, developed in the Soviet Union.

While commenting on May’s remarks, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said it all was a circus show, adding that the United Kingdom had launched another political media campaign based on a provocation. She urged London to make public the results of the investigation into the deaths of (former FSB officer) Alexander Litvinenko, (fugitive Russian tycoon) Boris Berezovsky, (whistleblower) Alexander Perepilichny and many others who "died under mysterious circumstances on British soil."

On Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Moscow had nothing to do with the poisoning of Skripal and his daughter. He pointed out that Russia had not received any requests from the UK concerning a substance allegedly used in the Salisbury incident. Lavrov stressed that in accordance with the Chemical Weapons Convention, the United Kingdom had had to immediately contact the country suspected of using such a substance, providing it with access to the substance in question. The Convention stipulates that an answer to such a question must be given within a period of ten days, Lavrov added.