LONDON (AP) — The Latest on the suspected poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal (all times local):
Russia’s Foreign Ministry says the unexplained illness of a former Russian spy in England is being used to fuel an anti-Russian campaign and further strain bilateral ties.
Sergei Skripal and his daughter are in critical condition after collapsing on a public bench in the English city of Salisbury on Sunday.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Wednesday that “what happened to Skripal has been immediately used to further incite anti-Russian campaign in Western media.” She added that the allegations were intended to “further exacerbate relations between our countries.”
U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said on Tuesday that Britain may not participate “in the normal way” in this summer’s soccer World Cup in Russia if Moscow is proven to be behind the sudden illness of the former spy.
Britain’s Home Secretary will chair a meeting of the government’s emergency committee during which ministers will be briefed on the mysterious collapse of a former spy and his daughter.
The Cobra committee meets Wednesday as counterterrorism police investigate the suspected poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, who collapsed Sunday on a public bench in southern England after they came into contact with an unknown substance.
While police say they are keeping an open mind, the case has reminded Britain of the 2006 poisoning of former spy Alexander Litvinenko, which was blamed on the Russian state.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson told lawmakers Tuesday that Britain would act — and possibly limit its participation in the upcoming soccer World Cup in Russia — if Moscow is shown to have been involved.