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UK Has No Leverage to Influence Russian Foreign Policy - Envoy

© REUTERS / Henry NichollsA woman walks past the Russian Embassy in London, Britain, March 19, 2018
A woman walks past the Russian Embassy in London, Britain, March 19, 2018 - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russian Ambassador to the UK Alexander Yakovenko has spoken about ex-Russian intelligence officer Skripal poisoning on the Russian television.

London has no leverage to influence Russia's foreign policy, Yakovenko said during the "60 Minutes" program aired by Rossiya 1 television.

"Of course, we could mention economic relations, oligarchs, but, if we speak seriously, everything is at a minimum in our state-level bilateral relations," the diplomat stressed.

According to Yakovenko, the British Foreign Office avoids contacts with the Russian embassy on the "Skripal case" and tries in every possible way to prevent Moscow's access to the investigation.

READ MORE: The Impact of Skripal on the Russian Election

The envoy noted that the British authorities refused to provide Russia with information about the condition of former GRU officer Sergei Skripal because he has both the Russian and the British citizenship.

Members of the emergency services wearing protective clothing work next to a children's play area near the bench where former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found poisoned in Salisbury, Britain, March 13, 2018 - Sputnik International
Moscow: UK is Either Unable to Protect From Attack or Staged Skripal Attack
Skripal and his daughter have been in hospital in a critical condition since March 4, being treated for exposure to what the UK experts say was A234 nerve agent. The UK side claimed it was a Novichok-type nerve agent, which was developed in the Soviet Union.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has accused Russia of orchestrating an attack on the former intelligence officer, and expelled 23 Russian diplomats as a punitive measure. The Russian side has strongly rejected the accusations and suggested helping in the investigation. However, Moscow's request for samples of the chemical substance used to poison Skripal was denied.

The Russian side also expelled UK diplomats in response and ordered the British Council to stop its activities in Russia.

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