07:49 GMT02 April 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Even some countries which expressed their solidarity with the United Kingdom in connection with the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal believe that London's reasoning on the issue is insufficient, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday.

    "First of all, 20 or 30 countries constitute only a part of the international community. The international community is much more diverse and includes a greater number of countries … Even among the countries which expressed solidarity with the United Kingdom, there are some countries which still believe that reasoning provided by London is weak and insufficient for such serious accusations," Peskov told reporters.

    Speaking about the recent expulsion of over 150 Russian diplomats from more than 25 countries in connection with the Skripal case, the spokesman noted that Moscow was ready to develop relations with all countries, including the United States, to the extent of the other countries' readiness to do so.

    "[Russian President Vladimir] Putin has repeatedly explained his fundamental position on international affairs. Putin is ready, and Russia is ready, to develop mutually beneficial relations based on mutual trust with all countries, including the United States, to the extent of the readiness of our opponents or partners to do so,” Peskov told a journalist answering a question as to whether the Russian president still wanted to meet US President Donald Trump.

    READ MORE: Montenegro Expels One Russian Diplomat Over Skripal Case — Embassy

    Answering a follow-up question as to whether the expulsion of Russian diplomats from the United States in connection with the Skripal case would affect the potential meeting of the two leaders, Peskov stated that Russia remained open to dialogue. However, he noted, that the Kremlin has no information on Washington's position on the matter.

    READ MORE: Russian Foreign Intel Service Officers Among Expelled Diplomatic Staff — Chief

    "Currently, [amid the expulsion of Russian diplomats], we have no information on whether the US side is ready to implement Tramp’s statements… It depends on whether our US colleagues will or will not discuss the matter. Of course, Russia remains open [to dialogue]," Peskov said.

    Skripal, a former GRU colonel who also worked for UK intelligence, and his daughter Yulia have been in a hospital in critical condition since March 4.

    London considers that the Skripals were exposed to the A234 nerve agent, which UK experts have claimed is related to the Novichok-class nerve agents developed in the former Soviet Union.

    READ MORE: Western Ambassadors Confirm UK Provided No Proof On Skripal's Case — Embassy

    Moscow has rejected all accusations and said that it would respond "adequately" to the expulsion of its diplomatic staff.

    Russia World Cup Boycott

    Dmitry Peskov said that the decision of foreign officials to boycott the FIFA World Cup in Russia over the Skripal case was unlikely to have a negative effect.

    "Speaking about the World Cup, in this case, the refusal of officials to attend these or those events as part of the FIFA World Cup is unlikely to have any negative effect on the sports festival in general, because it is the teams' performance that is important at the World Cup rather than the arrival of officials or official representatives," Peskov said.

    READ MORE: Russia Expects High Number of UK Tourists to Attend 2018 FIFA World Cup

    Russia will host its first FIFA World Cup from June 14 to July 15. The matches will take place in Kaliningrad, Kazan, Moscow, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, Saransk, Sochi, St. Petersburg, Volgograd and Yekaterinburg.


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