Russia compares Britain to Nazi propaganda chief Goebbels over Salisbury poisoning
Russia has compared the UK to Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels and warned the Government it is "playing with fire" by accusing it of being behind the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal.
At a United Nations Security Council meeting, Russian ambassador Vasily Nebenzia accused British ministers of making "unsubstantiated accusations" against his country.
Mr Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, were poisoned by the Novichok nerve agent in Salisbury, Wiltshire, a month ago.
Theresa May accused the Kremlin of sanctioning the attack, sparking a wave of diplomatic expulsions around the world as Britain's global allies joined in her condemnation of Vladimir Putin.
But at a specially-convened meeting of the UN Security Council, Mr Nebenzia said there was no evidence linking Russia with the crime.
He said: "It’s some sort of theatre of the absurd. Couldn’t you come up with a better fake story?. We have told our British colleagues that ’you’re playing with fire and you’ll be sorry."
The ambassador said "a propaganda war" was being waged against Russia and added: "This is all using the method of Dr Goebbels."
But Karen Pierce, Britain's ambassador to the UN, dismissed Mr Nebenzia's claims and said Russia has "a record of conducting state-sponsored assassinations" and "views defectors as suitable targets for assassination".
She added: "I won’t take any lectures on morality or on our responsibilities from a country that, as this Council debated yesterday, has done so much to block the proper investigation of the use of chemical weapons in Syria."
The UK was backed by America, whose ambassador Kelley Currie said: "It’s yet another attempt by Russia to use this Security Council for political gains."
Mr Skripal remains in a critical condition in hospital in Salisbury, but his daughter has regained consciousness.
In a statement issued yesterday, she said her "strength is growing daily".
Meanwhile, it has also been confirmed that two guinea pigs at Mr Skripal's house had died, while one of his pet cats had also been put down.