Salisbury poisoning: Putin says UK’s next prime minister should ‘forget about’ Skripal attack

Salisbury, Vladimir Putin has said.” data-reactid=”5″>Britain’s next prime minister should “forget about” the poisoning of a former Russian double agent in Salisbury, Vladimir Putin has said.

Theresa May would see what he described as the bigger picture and move on from the Skripal attack.” data-reactid=”6″>The Russian president said he hoped whoever succeeded Theresa May would see what he described as the bigger picture and move on from the Skripal attack.

“When all’s said and done we need to turn this page connected with spies and assassination attempts,” Mr Putin said on the sidelines of an economic forum in St Petersburg.

Sergei Skripal, a former colonel in Russian military intelligence who betrayed dozens of Russian agents to MI6, as London’s spy.” data-reactid=”8″>He described Sergei Skripal, a former colonel in Russian military intelligence who betrayed dozens of Russian agents to MI6, as London’s spy.

“He’s your agent not ours. That means you spied against us and it’s hard for me to say what happened with him subsequently. We need to forget about all this in the final analysis,” he said.

Mr Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned in Salisbury with the nerve agent novichok in March last year.

The attack led to a wave of diplomatic expulsions and diplomatic relations between Moscow and the west deteriorated to a post-Cold War low.

British prosecutors have charged two Russian military intelligence officers, known by the aliases Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, with attempted murder in their absence.

The Kremlin has repeatedly denied any involvement.

Mr Putin recalled his own experience working first for the Soviet Union’s KGB spy service and then Russia’s FSB security service.

“Global issues linked with common national interests in the economic, social and security spheres are more important than games played by intelligence services,” he said. ”I’m talking to you as an expert, believe me. We need to cast off this fluff and get down to business.”

Ms May’s spokeswoman said London would continue to engage with Russia on matters of international security, but said Moscow had to change its behaviour.

“We have been clear that Russia’s pattern of aggression and destabilising behaviour undermines its claims to be a responsible international partner,” she said. “The PM has made clear on numerous occasions we can only have a different relationship if Russia changes its behaviour.”

Mr Putin also issued a stern warning about the danger of a new arms race, accusing the United States on shunning talks on extending the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty, which is set to expire in 2021.

He said while Russia had repeatedly signalled its intention to begin discussions on extending the pact, Washington had been unresponsive.

“We have said 100 times already that we are ready, but no one is talking to us,” he claimed.

The pact, signed in 2010 by then-presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev, limits each country to no more than 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads and 700 deployed missiles and bombers.

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