Russian diplomat claims slander in case of poisoned ex-spy

Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations on Thursday denounced allegations the Kremlin was behind the poisoning of an ex-spy in Britain last month, calling the suspicions an attempt to “discredit and delegitimize” Russian involvement in countries like Syria.

In a special meeting of the Security Council called by Russia, Vassily Nebenzia asserted that “with a high degree of probability,” the intelligence services of other countries are behind the March 4 poisoning of the former Russian double agent, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter in the English country town of Salisbury.

“This is a coordinated, very well planned campaign” aiming to undermine Russia’s role “not only in finding a solution in Syria, but anywhere else,” Nebenzia said.

The British government has concluded that it is “highly likely” that the Kremlin poisoned Skripal, who remains in critical condition. But scientists at the British lab that analyzed samples said they could not pinpoint its origin, only that it was a military-grade nerve agent in the Novichok family.

The incident led more than 20 countries, including the United States, to expel about 150 Russian intelligence officers posing as diplomats in a coordinated show of solidarity with London.

Russia called the Security Council meeting after the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, a watchdog group based at The Hague, on Wednesday rejected Moscow’s bid to

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