Russia’s foreign intelligence chief Sergei Naryshkin has accused Britain of lying and trying to divert attention from other issues after British police announced that a third Russian suspect had been identified in an assassination attempt on former double agent Sergei Skripal in 2018 using the “Newbie” “, reports Reuters.
“This is an attempt to cover up another lie or reinforce a previous lie,” Naryshkin said, according to Interfax.
He said Britain’s actions were aimed at “diverting public attention from the shameful withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, especially the United States and its allies.”
In August, the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan in a flash amid the chaotic withdrawal of Western troops.
On Tuesday, Russia’s foreign ministry said Britain was using the poisoning case to deliberately sabotage Russian-British relations.
The assassination attempt on Sergei Skripal, who sold Russian secrets to London, sparked one of the biggest scandals between Russia and the West since the Cold War, leading to the mutual expulsion of dozens of diplomats after Britain accused Moscow.
In 2018, British prosecutors charged two Russian citizens with conspiracy to kill Skripal and attempted murder of his daughter Julia and a British police officer.
On Tuesday, Britain announced that another Russian had been charged in absentia in connection with the attack that killed a woman poisoned by “Novachka”, adding that all three suspects were members of Russian military intelligence.
Moscow denies involvement and calls the allegations anti-Russian propaganda.