March 23, 2018
Theresa May’s tough stance on the Sergei Skripal nerve gas attack is pushing Britain and Russia to the brink of war, the Moscow’s foreign minister has said.
Russian foreign minister: ‘UK stance on Skripal is pushing us to brink of WAR’
Sergey Lavrov issued his chilling warning during a visit to the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi today.
Speaking to reporters, Mr Lavrov claimed London's focus was now on making "the crisis with Russia as deep as possible" following the attempted murder of former double agent Mr Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury.
British policeman Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey, the first officer on the scene, was also hospitalised as a result, and was only discharged yesterday.
Mr Lavrov, Russia's top diplomat, insisted that Britain has so far failed to provide any firm evidence that would link Moscow to the March 4 attack.
Russian foreign minister: ‘UK stance on Skripal is pushing us to brink of WAR’
He added: "We still do not see any facts.
"The absence of which makes one think that all of this is a provocation.
“The investigation has not even been finished yet."
On Wednesday, during a visit to Japan, Mr Lavrov flatly denied Russia’s involvement, and claimed the UK ”deliberately taken a course aimed at undermining bilateral relations”.
Russian foreign minister: ‘UK stance on Skripal is pushing us to brink of WAR’
His comments contrast sharply with his stance on US President Donald Trump, for whom he had warm words of praise.
Mr Lavrov said: “In spite of everything, President Trump's policies are aimed at normalising ties with Russia and establishing cooperation in the interests of all.”
Mr Trump’s muted response to the Skripal attack has raised eyebrows among Western allies, as did his decision to call Russian President Vladimir Putin to congratulate him on his re-election on Sunday.
During this conversation, Mr Trump apparently proposed a summit in the "not-too-distant future".

However, Mr Trump has also agreed with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron "on the need to take action to hold Russia accountable" for the attack.
At yesterday’s EU summit in Brussels on Thursday, Mrs May warned leaders of a "pattern of Russian aggression", and leaders united behind her in blaming Russia for the nerve agent attack in England, agreeing to recall their ambassador to Moscow for consultations.
Some EU states are now considering following Britain's lead in expelling Russian diplomats.
Lithuania and Mr Macron’s France are among those indicating a willingness to take action.
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