MOSCOW: The poisoning in Britain of a former Russian double agent is in "no way" an issue for Moscow, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday (Mar 12), while confirming the hospitalised man is a Russian citizen.
"This is not our issue," President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists when asked to comment on reports in British media blaming Russia for the poisoning of 66-year-old Sergei Skripal with a nerve agent.
"The Russian citizen you mention ... worked for one of Britain's special services, the incident took place on British territory, and it is in no way an issue for Russia, let alone for the Russian leadership," he said.
Skripal, who collapsed from exposure to the substance in the city of Salisbury on Mar 4 together with his daughter, was convicted by a Russian tribunal for selling secrets to MI6 prior to being exchanged in a spy swap in 2010 and has lived in Britain since.
Senior British politicians have pointed the finger at Russia for trying to kill him and Prime Minister Theresa May was set to chair a meeting of the national security council on the matter, which media reports suggested would be followed with an official announcement.
Peskov said he has "not heard statements by British politicians or official representatives about Russia being implicated in this case," blaming allegations of Moscow's involvement on British media.
Moscow has dismissed such reports as anti-Russian propaganda.