Britain Threatens ‘Robust’ Response If Russia Behind Spy Poisoning

By Henry Ridgwell, VOA

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Britain has threatened a “robust” response if it is proven that Russia is behind the apparent attempted killing of a former double agent.

Sergei Skripal and his daughter were found collapsed in their home town in southern England Sunday, showing symptoms of poisoning.

Skripal, a former Russian agent and army colonel, confessed to sharing information on Russian spies in Europe with British intelligence agencies, in return for $100,000. A Moscow court sentenced him to 13 years in jail in 2006. He was released as part of a spy swap with the United States in 2010 and settled in Britain.

“In a sense, the one act that solidified the image in the Western mind that Putin’s Russia was, or is, a rogue state was the assassination of Alexander Litvinenko in 2006. That a similar incident — or that parallels are being drawn between that and Sunday’s incident only 12 days before the Russian presidential election — does reflect badly on Putin, at least in the international community,” said Andrew Foxall, director of the Russia Studies Center, at the London-based Henry Jackson Society analyst group.

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