01:15 GMT +320 March 2018
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    Police officers stand outside the house of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal who was found critically ill Sunday following exposure to an unknown substance in Salisbury, England, Tuesday, March 6, 2018

    Skripal Case Staged to Keep UK Within EU Over "Russian Threat" – UKIP Member

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    Alleged Poisoning Attack on Russian Ex-Spy Skripal in UK (96)
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The assassination attempt against former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in the United Kingdom may be perceived as a plot to derail Brexit negotiations and use Russia’s alleged threat as a pretext to keep the country with the European Union, Richard Wood, a member of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), told Sputnik on Wednesday.

    Earlier in the day, UK Prime Minister Theresa May addressed the parliament focusing on the Salisbury incident and the steps London would take in response to the attempted murder of the former spy. She announced the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats and gave them a week to leave. Previously, the prime minister said that Russia was "highly likely" behind the incident.

    "Teresa May has been absolutely stupid because she is now in a hole over Brexit with the European Union and the EU is doing its best to keep Britain in and we want to be out. The whole point about this fiasco is that something happened and Mrs. May is now being able to point another finger at Russia and say this is our enemy. They are finding some excuse to actually blame Russia for something else so Russia becomes a big bad man again to take the pressure off Teresa May with the Brexit negotiations because she is not getting anywhere. Everybody I speak to is not on her side and not against Russia. I do think it was staged," Wood said.

    The politician stressed that May has not provided any evidence for her allegations despite the fact that Russia has asked for proof and for access to the materials of the case.

    "That is why May is now desperate to keep the momentum going against Russia when all Russia said is ‘show me the facts’," he said.

    Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Kremlin has no information on what could have caused the attack against Skripal and noted that Moscow was ready to cooperate with the UK investigation. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov pointed out that no facts proving Russian involvement in the incident have been provided by the UK side and that Russia was ready to cooperate with London on this case within the framework of the Chemical Weapons Convention. Lavrov added that Russia had requested access to all the case materials.

    The Russian Embassy in the United Kingdom called the announced expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats from the UK over alleged Moscow's involvement in nerve agent attack on Skripal a hostile and unacceptable move.

    Alleged Poisoning Attack on Russian Ex-Spy Skripal in UK (96)


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