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British Ambassador Will Not Attend Russian Ministry Meeting on Skripal

British Ambassador to Russia Laurie Bristow David Mdzinarishvili / Reuters

Britain's ambassador to Moscow will skip a Russian Foreign Ministry briefing on the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Britain, an embassy spokesman said on Wednesday.

The Foreign Ministry has invited foreign ambassadors to attend a meeting with arms control experts later on Wednesday to discuss British allegations that Moscow was responsible for the poisoning in southern England, something Russia denies.

"The ambassador will not attend and we are considering whether to send a representative at working level," the embassy spokesman said.

"It's another vivid example of the absurd situation when questions are asked and an unwillingness to hear even any answers is demonstrated," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call. 

Speaking on a visit to Japan, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier on Wednesday that Russia wanted Britain to tell it where Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, were currently located.

Lavrov said Moscow also wanted to know why the British government had accused Russia of responsibility when the police investigation into the Salisbury incident was incomplete.

"Overall there is no doubt that the current British leadership has consciously taken a course to undermine Russian-British relations," Lavrov said at a news conference with his Japanese counterpart Taro Kono in Tokyo.

"If this will continue in the form of any tangible new anti-Russian actions then of course nobody has cancelled the principle of reciprocity. It would be good for everyone and for [the British government] if they stopped getting agitated and calmed down." 

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