2 Apr 2018 17:58

Lavrov: UK's allegations that Russia had motive to poison Skripal provocative

MOSCOW. April 2 (Interfax) - The United Kingdom's allegations that the Russian leadership had a motive to poison former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal are "crazy provocations," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday.

"When they say that the order came from the very top, first, President Putin has already commented on the situation personally, saying that only an absolutely biased person who has devised a horrible and crazy provocation can insist that Russia had a motive, as our British partners are doing," Lavrov said at a press conference in Moscow.

Lavrov said he was stunned to think what motive Russia could have "in the run-up to presidential elections, in the run-up to the FIFA World Cup - that's if you take a cynical approach toward the problem."

"We could not have had a motive. The man was freed and was pardoned through an exchange for Russian representatives several years ago. If there had been some charges against the man, perhaps he would not have been eligible for an exchange," he said.