Moscow fears London could destroy evidence in ex-spy's case

Moscow fears London could destroy evidence in ex-spy's case
A plane which carried Russian diplomats and their family members ordered to leave Britain as part of a standoff over a nerve agent attack on British soil, at Vnukovo 2 government airport outside Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, March 20, 2018. Nearly two dozen Russian diplomats expelled by Britain over the poisoning of an ex-spy arrived home Tuesday, while a scientist involved in the creation of the nerve agent said it could be manufactured by other countries. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

MOSCOW (AP) — A Russian foreign ministry official says Moscow fears that Britain could destroy key evidence in the nerve agent attack on an ex-Russian spy.

Former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter remain in critical condition in the English city of Salisbury after being poisoned on March 4. Britain has blamed Russia for being behind the attack, and the case prompted the two nations to expel diplomats in a tit-for-tat dispute.

Vladimir Yermakov, deputy head of the ministry’s department for non-proliferation, told a briefing for foreign envoys Wednesday that Britain is “hiding facts” and that key evidence might “disappear.”

The Russian foreign ministry had invited foreign ambassadors in Moscow to brief them about the allegations, but the British and the U.S. missions shunned the meeting and sent lower-level diplomats instead.