Eli Ridder | The Avro Post
Russia’s envoy to the United Nations told the Security Council on Thursday that it has warned the United Kingdom it is entering dangerous diplomatic territory over its reactionary measures against the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal.
London blames Moscow for the nerve agent attack on the former Russian spy and his daughter on British soil and has sparked an international diplomatic skirmish between Russia and the West.
U.N. envoy Vasily Nebenzya said “we have told our British colleagues that you are playing with fire and you will be sorry” at the emergency council meeting called by Russia.
While his daughter released a statement just hours before the Security Council met confirming early reports of her improved health, her father still remains in critical condition, although he is stable, according to hospital authorities.
Just shy of 60 U.S. envoys departed Moscow on Thursday as part of the so-called “tit-for-tat” diplomatic actions between Russia and the West.
The Russian Federation had called the special meeting in New York to focus on the attack, saying that the U.K. had “legitimate questions” to answer for accusations Mr. Nebenzya called “horrific and unsubstantiated”.
The envoy said that London was waging a “propaganda war” against his country, asking the British delegation: “Couldn’t you come up with a better fake story?”
Novichok, which the U.K. says is a chemical weapon in the Russian military’s arsenal, is the nerve agent that was used in the Skripal poisoning, but Nebenzya said that it was not exclusive to Russia and has been utilized by other countries.
“It’s some sort of theatre of the absurd,” the Russian envoy said, condemning the British intelligence services for reporting that Russia tested the nerve agent on household items prior to the attack.
Karen Pierce, British envoy to the United Nations, responded by accusing Russia of working to “undermine the international institutions that have kept us safe since the Second World War.”
Peirce said her country suspected Russian wrongdoing for several reasons, including its “record of state-sponsored assassinations” and the Kremlin’s targeting of defectors.
The ambassador also said Moscow’s request to meet with Yulia Skripal had been passed on to her and they will update Russia with her response, saying that “Ms. Skripal’s own wishes needs to be taken into account.”
Watch the Russian envoy at the U.N. via Sky News.
Nerve agent attack: Russia insists it “wants to get to the bottom of the story” at emergency UN meeting pic.twitter.com/oYWBTLGEJx
— Sky News (@SkyNews) April 5, 2018
More details to follow. Image of the envoy from Reuters.