Russia Warns UK Against Cyber Retaliation

Russia's embassy in London has said that it was seriously concerned about reports that Britain could launch a cyber attack against Russia in retaliation for the alleged use of a nerve agent on Russians resident  in the UK . 

It urged the UK to carefully weigh the consequences of such action. 

Earlier, Russia demanded that Britain provide it with access to a nerve agent used to poison double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. Both of them remain in a critical condition in hospital after being found unconscious on a bench outside a shopping centre in the cathedral city of Salisbury.

In a statement, the Russian embassy said: "Not only is Russia groundlessly and provocatively accused of the Salisbury incident, but apparently, plans are being developed in the UK to strike Russia with cyber weapons.

"Statements by a number of MPs, 'Whitehall sources' and 'experts' regarding a possible 'deployment' of 'offensive cyber-capabilities' cause serious concern," it added.

"We invite the British side to once again consider the consequences of such a reckless move."

The country's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Russia is "not guilty" of poisoning Mr Skripal and his daughter.  
"Russia is not guilty. Russia is ready to cooperate according to the Chemical Weapons Convention, if Britain takes the trouble and condescends to carry out its international obligations according to the same document," he added.

The incident has led to a major diplomatic incident between the two countries with the Russian news agency Interfax reporting this morning that Russia had summoned the British ambassador.

British Prime Minister Theresa May told parliament the nerve agent used to poison the pair was a military-grade type developed by Russia. She told British MPs that Russia had previously used this group of nerve agents known as Novichok, had a history of state-sponsored assassinations and viewed defectors such as Mr Skripal as legitimate targets.
"The government has concluded that it is highly likely that Russia was responsible for the act against Sergei and Yulia Skripal," she said.

She gave Russia a deadline to disclose details of its development of the Novichok nerve agents programme to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

If there was "no credible response" it will conclude it was "an unlawful use of force by the Russian State against the UK", she warned. She pledged to outline a "full range of measures" in response.

RTE:

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