Moscow, Mar 14 (AFP) Russia’s foreign ministry spokeswoman today ridiculed British premier Theresa May’s vow to act on crime and corruption following the attack on a former Russian spy, calling London a centre for money laundering that harbours criminals.

Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called the British government “liars” because London has failed to process dozens of Moscow’s requests to hand over criminals and murderers living on its territory.

“It’s tough to think of a bigger laundry for laundering money than London,” Zakharova said on a talk show on Rossiya 1 state channel.

“And do you know how many Russians we are awaiting from London per official requests? Over 40 people, among them not just people who brought in dirty money… but serial killers” who have been welcomed by Britain and even received asylum, she said.

“And now they are telling us that people who are at odds with the law are not welcomed in Britain?” she said.

She didn’t name any of the individuals.

May said Wednesday that as part of Britain’s response to the attack on ex-double agent Sergei Skripal, London will be examining visitors who could be engaged in activities harmful to Britain.

She said law enforcement will act “against serious criminals and corrupt elites. There is no place for these people — or their money — in our country.” “These people are liars,” Zakharova said, referring to British officials.

“They say they don’t welcome dirty money and at the same time they cannot hand us 40 people who not only have cases against them, but who are killers.” May on Wednesday announced that London would also expel 23 Russian diplomats and suspend high-level contacts with Russia, including for the World Cup, following the poisoning of Skripal with a nerve agent developed in the Soviet Union.

Zakharova ridiculed these measures as well.

“The royal family won’t come. I don’t know how you’ll take it, we must tough it out,” she told the sniggering hosts of the show.

“Somehow we must brave through it.” (AFP) UZM UZM

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.