Mystery surrounds how ex-Russian spy was poisoned in UK

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It comes just hours after British Prime Minister Theresa May said it was "highly likely" that Russian Federation was behind the nerve agent attack on former spy Skripal in Britain last week.

The spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, also said Moscow was still working on retaliatory measures against Britain for London's decision to expel 23 Russian diplomats over the poisoning, which left Skripal and his daughter critically ill.

Geopolitical tensions have been mounting since the poisoning of Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the English city of Salisbury on March 4, in what Western powers see as the latest sign of increasingly aggressive Russian interference in foreign countries.

Russia's envoy at the global chemical weapons watchdog said Britain and the US both had access to Novichok and that the nerve agent used to attack the Skripals could have come from either of their stockpiles.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov slammed Johnson's remark in a comment to CNN.

"We call on Russian Federation to live up to its responsibilities as a member of the U.N. Security Council to uphold worldwide peace and security", they said. "Any reference or mentioning of our President is nothing else but shocking and unpardonable diplomatic misconduct". Russia's top agency for major crimes was also investigating the attack on Yulia Skripal, who is a Russian citizen.

On Friday, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson went a step further, saying it was "overwhelmingly likely" that Russian President Vladimir Putin himself authorized the attempted assassination on Skripal. "The Government is trying to find distracting manoeuvres to take the stress off and of course this kind of aggression, political provocation that they are doing against Russian Federation is very much needed".

Britain has said it will provide a sample of the nerve agent used in the Skripal attack to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the United Nations chemical weapons watchdog agency, where the Russians will have access to it.

He said: "Sooner or later, the British will have to show some proof to those "colleagues" who say they are with United Kingdom on this; sooner or later will have to stand up its accusations".

The Trump administration on Thursday blamed the Russian government for a campaign of cyber attacks stretching back two years that targeted the U.S. power grid including nuclear facilities. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said in the Guardian that it's possible that "Russian mafia-like groups", rather than the Russian state, were responsible. Both are in critical condition.

Wiltshire Police said 131 people had been identified as potentially being exposed to the nerve agent - but none has shown any symptoms. "But to all appearances, they had no real concerns: they went to lunch and they went to a pub".

Russian Federation described the UK's position as irresponsible and not backed up by evidence. "They may be alive, maybe not, maybe nothing happened at all". In London, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson ratcheted up the rhetoric against Russian Federation, accusing it of glorying in the attack on Sergei Skripal, which he described as a way of scaring anyone who stood up to President Vladimir Putin.

Johnson said the attack was a way for Putin to send a message to anyone considering taking a stand against it that "You do that, you are going to die".

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