Update – 3.27pm: A Russian embassy spokesman accused the UK Government of playing a “very dangerous game” with British public opinion and warned of the risk of “serious long-term consequences”.
In a statement on the embassy website, a spokesman said: “We would like to stress once again that we are outraged by the anti-Russian media campaign, condoned by the Government, that influences the investigation and has a psychological effect on British residents.
“Our compatriots and British nationals of Russian origin are worried about their future in this country. UK-based Russian journalists are receiving threats.
“Current policy of the UK Government towards Russia is a very dangerous game played with the British public opinion, which not only sends the investigation upon an unhelpful political track but also bears the risk of more serious long-term consequences for our relations.”
The spokesman said that the day after the first reports of the poisoning emerged, the embassy had requested information from the Foreign Office about “their health situation and the investigation”. The spokesman said British officials “don’t provide any additional information and don’t distance themselves from the media campaign”.
Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed questions about his state’s alleged involvement in the Skripal case. On a visit to a grain centre, he told the BBC: “We’re dealing with agriculture here … and you talk to me about some tragedies.
“Get to the bottom of things there, then we’ll discuss this.”
Here are some options for Theresa May as she prepares to make a statement on the Sergei Skripal attack
British Prime Minister Theresa May will make a statement to update MPs on the nerve agent attack on a Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia at around 4.30pm.
Ahead of her statement, Downing Street said “if we get to a position when we are able to attribute this attack then we will do so”. The British Government will be under pressure to take a tough line against Russia if it is proven to be involved in the Salisbury nerve agent attack.
The expulsion of Russian diplomats and spies, new financial sanctions against individuals linked to the Kremlin, and withdrawal of official representation from this summer’s World Cup are among the retaliatory measures which could be on the table if Britain takes action.