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Putin 'highly likely' behind nerve-agent attack: Boris Johnson

Putin 'highly likely' behind nerve-agent attack: Boris Johnson
From Al Jazeera - March 16, 2018

Boris Johnson, Britain's foreign minister,has said it is "highly likely" that Russian President Vladimir Putin himself ordered the nerve-agent attack on a former Russian agent on UK soil.

In a response, Russia has called the allegations "shocking and unforgivable" and a breach of diplomatic rules of decent behaviour.

Johnson said the attack on former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter with a military-grade nerve toxin was most likely ordered by Putin himself.

"Our quarrel is with Putin's Kremlin, and with his decision - and we think it overwhelmingly likely that it was his decision - to direct the use of a nerve agent on the streets of the UK, on the streets of Europe for the first time since the second world war," Johnson said.

"We have nothing against the Russians themselves. There is to be no Russophobia as a result of what is happening."

Theresa May, theBritish prime minister,expelled 23 Russian diplomats after she accused Russia of being behind the incident.

Responding to the accusations and expulsions by Britain, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called Johnson's remarks "shocking and unforgivable".

"Any reference or mention of our president in this regard is a shocking and unforgivable breach of diplomatic rules of decent behaviour," Peskov said according to Russian press agency TASS.

The Kremlin is also preparing retaliatory measures against Britain.

"You can expect it any minute," Peskov said.

Possible retaliation

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