The Latest: Merkel urges Russian transparency in ex-spy case

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The Latest: Merkel urges Russian transparency in ex-spy case
Various police, Army and other emergency service personal attend a scene in Durrington near Salisbury, England, Monday March 19, 2018, as a car is taken away for further investigation into the suspected nerve agent attack on Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. NATO's secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said Monday that "all 29 NATO allies stand united," with Britain amid diplomatic tensions with Russia over the March 4 poisoning of the ex-spy in an English city. (Ben Birchall/PA via AP)

MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on the poisoning of a Russian ex-spy (all times local):

4:25 p.m.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is calling for “transparency from Russia” over the nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in Britain.

Britain has blamed Russia for being behind the March 4 poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter. The case prompted the two nations to expel diplomats in a tit-for-tat dispute.

Merkel emphasized Germany’s solidarity with Britain in a speech to lawmakers in Berlin on Wednesday. She said that “a lot of evidence points to Russia and so transparency from Russia is required to quell the suspicion.”

Merkel added: “I would be happy if I didn’t have to name Russia here, but we can’t disregard evidence because we don’t want to name Russia.”

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4 p.m.

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

Russian ex-spy 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.