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The Latest: NATO Stands United with UK in Spat with Russia

The Latest: NATO Stands United with UK in Spat with Russia

Monday, 19 March 2018 12:38 PM

BRUSSELS (AP) — The Latest on the poisoning of a Russian ex-spy and his daughter in Britain (all times local):

5:30 p.m.

NATO's secretary-general says the alliance stands united with Britain amid diplomatic tensions with Russia over an ex-spy's poisoning in an English city.

Jens Stoltenberg said "all 29 NATO allies stand united. We stand in solidarity with the United Kingdom. The U.K. is not alone." He made the comments during a joint news conference with U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson at NATO headquarters.

Britain has accused Russia of being behind the March 4 attack in Salisbury with a Novichok nerve agent on ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter that has left them in critical condition. Moscow vehemently denies any involvement.

Stoltenberg said that "Russia's response so far has demonstrated a clear disregard for international peace and security. We continue to call on Russia to provide the complete disclosure of the Novichok program."

12:05 p.m.

The Kremlin says Britain will eventually have to offer proof to back up its claim of Russia's involvement in the poisoning of an ex-spy — or apologize.

President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said that the "slanderous anti-Russian flow coming from Britain is inexplicable, unfounded and driven by unclear motives."

He told reporters that Britain will have "to back it with some kind of proof or offer excuses."

Britain has accused Russia of using a military-grade nerve agent to poison former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, who have been in critical condition for two weeks. Britain has announced the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats, and Russia has responded in kind.

The European Union on Monday condemned Skripal's poisoning, and British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson dismissed Moscow's denials as absurd.

10 a.m.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is describing Russian claims that it is not responsible for the poisoning of a former spy as absurd, and says the U.K. has the full backing of its European partners.

Johnson told reporters in Brussels Monday that "Russian denials grow increasingly absurd," with contradictory claims about whether Russia produced the nerve agent Novichok used in the March 4 attack that left Sergei Skripal and his daughter in critical condition.

He said "what people can see is that this is a classic Russian strategy of trying to conceal the needle of truth in a haystack of lies and obfuscation."

Johnson, speaking before briefing European Union foreign ministers on developments, said many in the bloc have been victims of "malign Russian behavior" and that Moscow is "not fooling anybody anymore."

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The Latest on the poisoning of a Russian ex-spy and his daughter in Britain (all times local):5:30 p.m.NATO's secretary-general says the alliance stands united with Britain amid diplomatic tensions with Russia over an ex-spy's poisoning in an English city.Jens Stoltenberg...
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2018-38-19
Monday, 19 March 2018 12:38 PM
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