With a contemptuous grin, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday referred to as a former double agent who was sickened by a navy grade nerve agent in Britain a traitor and “scumbag” — however dismissed the concept Russia would goal him in a poison assault.
Wednesday’s remarks marked the primary time Putin immediately lashed out at Sergei Skripal, who spent weeks hospitalized along with his daughter after each have been poisoned within the metropolis of Salisbury in March. British officers allege the assault on the Skripals obtained approval “at a senior stage of the Russian state,” an accusation Moscow has angrily rejected.
“He’s only a spy, a traitor to the motherland,” Putin stated of Skripal throughout a panel dialogue at a world power discussion board. “Give it some thought as a citizen, what could be your angle to somebody who betrayed your personal nation? He’s only a scumbag.”
Putin reiterated that Russia had no purpose to assault Skripal, a former officer of the Russian GRU navy intelligence who was sentenced in 2006 to 13 years for spying for Britain. He was launched as a part of a 2010 spy swap deal and settled within the U.Okay.
WATCH: Putin maintains the 2 folks alleged to have poisoned Sergei Skripal are atypical residents
“There was no want for poisoning,” stated Putin, himself a former KGB officer. “He was caught, punished, served a complete of 5 years in jail and we let him go. That’s it. He left and went on to seek the advice of some particular companies, and so what?”
He added on a sarcastic be aware that “espionage and prostitution are among the many most essential professions.”
Requested about worldwide sanctions on Russia triggered by the March four poisoning, Putin denounced what he described as an “data marketing campaign” over the case and stated London has stonewalled Moscow’s proposal to conduct a joint probe.
The poisoning additional heightened tensions between Russia and the West and triggered a wave of diplomats’ expulsions during which a whole bunch of envoys have been expelled by each Russia and Western nations.
Britain final month charged Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov with attempting to kill Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, with the Soviet-designed nerve agent Novichok.
British police say they imagine the nerve agent used to poison Skripal and his daughter was smuggled to Britain in a counterfeit Nina Ricci fragrance bottle and utilized to the entrance door of Skripal’s home.
WATCH: British police ID Russian suspects in poisoning of ex-spy, daughter
Greater than three months later, the bottle was discovered by an area man, Charlie Rowley. He was hospitalized and his girlfriend Daybreak Sturgess died after being uncovered to the contents.
“I generally have a look at what’s occurring with that case and simply really feel puzzled,” Putin stated. “Some males got here and began poisoning tramps. What sort of nonsense is that?”
After the 2 suspects have been charged, Putin stated they have been civilians who did nothing felony and urged them to talk to information shops. The pair then appeared on Russia’s state-funded RT channel, saying they visited Salisbury as vacationers and had nothing to do with the poisoning.
British-based investigative group Bellingcat reported final week that the person recognized as Boshirov is in reality Col. Anatoly Chepiga of the Russian navy intelligence company GRU, who was awarded Russia’s highest medal in 2014.
Past a photograph from Chepiga’s 2003 passport file resembling Boshirov, the report didn’t comprise additional proof that Boshirov and Chepiga have been the identical particular person. A number of Russian and overseas media shops interviewed unidentified residents in a village the place Chepiga’s household as soon as lived, who acknowledged the colonel as the person caught in CCTV footage in Salisbury.