Russia told Britain at the United Nations Security Council that “you’re playing with fire and you’ll be sorry” over its accusations that Moscow was to blame for poisoning a former Russian spy and his daughter.
It was the second showdown between Russia and Britain at the world body since the March 4 nerve agent attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in an English town. Russia, which requested Thursday’s council meeting, denies any involvement.
The attack has had major diplomatic ramifications, with mass expulsions of Russian and Western diplomats. The 15-member Security Council first met over the issue on March 14 at Britain’s request.
“We have told our British colleagues that ‘you’re playing with fire and you’ll be sorry’,” Russian U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said during a more than 30-minute speech that attempted to poke holes in Britain’s allegations against Moscow.
“We have nothing to hide ...but I do fear that Russia might have something to fear”
He suggested that anyone who watched television crime shows like Britain’s ‘Midsomer Murders’ would know “hundreds of clever ways to kill someone” to illustrate the “risky and dangerous” nature of the method Britain says was used to target Skripal.
British police believe a nerve agent was left on the front door of the Salisbury home where Skripal lived after he was freed in a spy swap. He was a military intelligence colonel who betrayed dozens of Russian agents to Britain’s MI6 spy service.
“We believe that the UK’s actions stand up to any scrutiny,” British U.N. Ambassador Karen Pierce told the Security Council. “We have nothing to hide ... but I do fear that Russia might have something to fear.”
At the global chemical weapons watchdog Wednesday, Russia called for a joint inquiry into the poisoning of the Skripals but lost a vote on the measure.
“Allowing Russian scientists into an investigation where they are the most likely perpetrators of the crime in Salisbury would be like Scotland Yard inviting in Professor Moriarty,” Pierce told reporters earlier on Thursday, citing a character from “Sherlock Holmes.”