11:25 GMT +310 December 2019
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    Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May addresses the House of Commons on her government's reaction to the poisoning of former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, in London, March 14, 2018

    Russian Envoy: UK Authorities 'Score' Political Points Over Skripal Incident

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    Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom Alexander Yakovenko dispelled worries that Moscow could respond by restricting energy supplies in response to UK measures taken in connection with the poisoning of Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal.

    "Russia is a reliable supplier, it has never broken its contracts. The supplier depends on the customer as much as the other way round," Yakovenko told the Mail on Sunday newspaper. However, the diplomat has warned that the situation had gone too far.

    "This dispute is indeed escalating dangerously and out of proportion. Restraint is needed, and cooler heads," he said.

    Moreover, UK government is using the case of poisoning Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal to gain popularity, but this will not work, Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom Alexander Yakovenko said.

    "Highly likely the Cabinet views the crisis as a 'short, victorious war' to score points at home — but it's not going to be like that," Yakovenko told the Mail on Sunday newspaper. The ambassador has also cautioned London against cutting ties with Moscow.

    "Russia has strategic patience. So the message is — Investigate before you accuse. Sabre rattling does not solve the major challenges like Brexit talks but it makes 'Global Britain' less global if you cut dialogue with Russia," he explained.

    Russian Foreign Ministry told UK Ambassador to Russia on Saturday that Moscow reserved the right to take further retaliatory measures if London continued its unfriendly moves, Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom Alexander Yakovenko said.

    On Saturday, UK Ambassador to Russia Laurie Bristow has been summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry.

    "In case of further unfriendly actions against Russia, the Russian side reserves the right to take further retaliatory measures – this is what the British Ambassador was told on Saturday," Yakovenko told the Mail on Sunday newspaper.

    He rejected fears that Russia could launch a cyberwar against the United Kingdom.

    "UN Charter forbids threat or use of force – this is an obligation for both Russia and Britain…. While Russia is being constructive, British MPs and media, and with implied connivance of the state, are suggesting cyberstrikes against Russia. You won’t hear this language in Moscow," Yakovenko said.

    On Tuesday, The Times reported, citing a high-ranking UK cabinet source, that the UK government might consider the possibility of organizing a secret cyberattack against Russia with the use of hacking software.

    Relations between Moscow and London deteriorated in early March after former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter were found unconscious in a shopping center in Salisbury. UK Prime Minister Theresa May said that it was "highly likely" that Russia was responsible for the incident, since the two were poisoned with a Novichok-class chemical agent that was developed in the Soviet Union.

    On Wednesday, May went on to announce a package of anti-Russian measures, including the expulsion of Russian diplomats from the country, and the suspension of bilateral contacts between London and Moscow.

    On Saturday, Russia announced retaliatory measures against the United Kingdom, declaring 23 employees of the UK Embassy in Moscow personae non gratae in response to London's move.

    The ministry also revoked its agreement on opening and operation of the UK Consulate General in the Russian city of St. Petersburg, according to the statement. In addition, a decision was made to terminate the activities of the British Council in Russia, since its "legal status has not been determined."


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    popularity, authority, politics, Novichok, Theresa May, Laurie Bristow, Sergei Skripal, Alexander Yakovenko, Russia, United Kingdom
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