United Nations, Apr 4 (AFP) Russia has asked for a UN Security Council meeting over the poisoning of a former Russian double agent in Britain, the country’s ambassador to the UN announced today.

Vassily Nebenzia said Russia was requesting a meeting tomorrow over the British government’s implication of Moscow in the nerve agent attack on former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

Nebenzia said the council would soon receive a letter clarifying the Russian position.

The Kremlin has vehemently denied any involvement in the March 4 attack, which Britain says was carried out with a military-grade nerve agent developed by the Soviet Union.

On March 14, the council held an emergency meeting at the request of Britain over the row, which has triggered a wave of tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions and inflamed tensions between Russia and Western governments.

A few days after the poisoning last month British Prime Minister Theresa May blamed Moscow, saying “there is no plausible alternative explanation.” Russia has claimed innocence from the beginning.

The British military facility analyzing the nerve agent used in the attack said Tuesday it was military-grade Novichok, a category of nerve agents developed by the Soviet Union.

However, it said it could not identify the precise source of the nerve agent.

A former colonel in the Russian military intelligence service, Skripal was accused of “high treason” in 2006 for selling information to Britain and sentenced to 13 years in prison.

In 2010, he was exchanged by Russia in a spy swap with Britain and the United States. Moscow received 10 Russian spies held by Washington for Skripal and three others. (AFP) PMS PMS

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.