Russian FM: Ex-spy's poisoning is a distraction from Brexit

Russian FM: Ex-spy's poisoning is a distraction from Brexit
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov speaks to the media during a joint news conference after the talks with his Bangladesh counterpart Abul Hassan Mahmud Ali in Moscow, Russia, Monday, April 2, 2018. Lavrov told reporters on Monday that Moscow is concerned that the United States has been "gaining a serious foothold" on the east bank of the Euphrates river despite Trump's earlier promises that the U.S. would leave when the Islamic State group is defeated. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s foreign minister has accused Britain and the United States of spreading “lies and disinformation” about the poisoning of a Russian ex-spy in England.

Britain has said Russia is likely behind the March 4 nerve agent attack on former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter. Moscow has vehemently denied any involvement.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov denounced the British accusations on Monday as a “mad and horrible provocation.” He insisted that Moscow had no motive to attack Skripal, who was released from a Russian prison during a 2010 spy swap.

Lavrov mocked Britain’s claim that there is no plausible alternative explanation for the poisoning. He says British intelligence agencies could have been involved and alleges the case helped distract public attention from the British government’s difficult Brexit negotiations.