UK's Johnson Pins Poisoning on Putin Himself

'Overwhelmingly likely'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2018 1:05 PM CDT
UK's Johnson: 'Overwhelmingly Likely' Putin Behind Ex-Spy's Death
Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street in London on Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

How likely is it that Vladimir Putin was behind the poisoning of an ex-Russian spy in England? "Overwhelmingly likely" in the eyes of UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. He made his claim Friday just two days after Prime Minister Theresa May kicked 23 Russians out of the country in response to the attack on Sergei Skripal and his adult daughter, per the Washington Post. "Our quarrel is with Putin's Kremlin, and with his decision—and we think it overwhelmingly likely that it was his decision—to direct the use of a nerve agent on the streets of the UK, on the streets of Europe for the first time since the Second World War," Johnson said. Russia said Friday it would return the favor by forcing out British diplomats from its own borders and taking other measures, though it hasn't yet offered specifics.

Kremlin rep Dmitry Peskov took umbrage at Johnson's remarks, saying that invoking Putin's name in all of this was "shocking and unforgivable in terms of diplomatic behavior." Meanwhile, Scotland Yard is now looking into the death of Russian businessman Nikolai Glushkov, found dead in his London home on Monday, per the Guardian. A pathology report says the 68-year-old Glushkov died of compression to the neck, which spurred the investigation. Glushkov believed he was on a Russian government hit list, per Business Insider. However, police haven't found any links to Skripal's death, nor proof that Glushkov may have been poisoned, though investigators say they're keeping "an open mind." The Guardian details Glushkov's sketchy life in Russia, which included charges of fraud and money laundering. (More Boris Johnson stories.)

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