Russian foreign minister accuses UK of 'political performance' over Skripal case
Russia's foreign minister has fired back at the UK over the Sergei Skripal case, accusing ministers of staging a "political performance" and "flagrantly misleading" the international community.
Sergei Lavrov accused Theresa May and her colleagues of showing "enormous self-regard" in their attitude to the case, and failing to provide "concrete facts".
Theresa May said on Monday it was "highly likely" that the Putin government was behind what she called a "brazen attempt to murder innocent civilians on our soil".
The Prime Minister will make a further statement on the Government's response to the attack in the Commons this afternoon.
Former spy Mr Skripal and his daughter Yulia remain in hospital after being poisoned by a rare nerve agent in the Wiltshire town of Salisbury.
A police officer who responded to the scene is also in intensive care.
Mr Lavrov claimed the British approach so far had been to say "we know everything, and we demand you agree with what we say".
"We are going to stand by international law, we see nothing in our partners' arguments," he told a press conference in Moscow.
"Without being presented concrete facts we are being asked to respond to a naked attempt to flagrantly mislead the international community..."
The veteran politician said that the only people with a motive to attack Mr Skripal and his daughter Yulia were those trying to pursue "an unprecedented Russophobic campaign" against the Kremlin.
Mr Lavrov underlined that Moscow was prepared to respond to a request for assistance with the Skripal case, but that the UK had not sought any.
“We have not received any official request from London in connection with the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter," he said.
“We have made it known to the English [sic] that we are ready to answer any request they make on the basis of their responsibilities under the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
“When an official request is made, we will reply within ten days, in keeping with responsibilities under the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons...
"But instead of making such a request, the United Kingdom continues to put on a political performance."