Russia’s ambassador to Australia says the world will enter into a “Cold War situation” should the West continue its bias against his country over allegations that Moscow had been behind the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Britain.
Ambassador Grigory Logvinov, during a press briefing in the Australian capital, Canberra, on Wednesday morning, rejected accusations that Moscow was behind the attack.
“The West must understand that the anti-Russian campaign has no future,” Logvinov said.
“If it continues, we will be deeply in a Cold War situation,” he added.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Logvinov stated that Russia had yet to decide on its response to the diplomatic action by British allies.
“I said we have no evidence. The British stubbornly denied giving any evidence. They have denied following the provisions and protocol of the Convention on Prohibition of Chemical Weapons,” he said.
Australia said on Tuesday it would expel two Russian diplomats over the row.
Meanwhile, speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Lyudmila Georgievna Vorobieva, Russia’s ambassador to Indonesia, said the situation surrounding the Skripal case and the expulsions of Russian diplomats was “absolutely absurd.”
She warned that the confrontation could lead not to a Cold War but an “ice war.”
“What is worse than an ice war? It’s a hot war,” she said in the capital Jakarta.
“Do we want that? Well, I can tell you from Russia’s side definitely we don’t want that because if we take into account the number of nuclear weapons accumulated by the country, this kind of development would be fatal for our planet.”
Russia wanted to cooperate in the investigation into the attack on Skripal “in a very transparent way”, she said, but noted that Russian consular access to the two in hospitals in Britain had been denied. “We’re not concealing anything,” said Vorobieva.
Numerous allies of Britain, including the United States, announced on Monday that they had ordered the expulsion of about 100 Russian diplomats as part of seemingly coordinated attempts against the Kremlin after Skripal, 67, and his 33-year-old daughter, Yulia, were found unconscious on March 4 on a bench in the British city of Salisbury. The Skripals remain hospitalized in critical condition.
Britain claims the Soviet-designed Novichok nerve agent has been used to poison the pair and points the finger at Russia.
Moscow has rejected the claim as “absurd,” saying the substance used in the attack could have originated from the countries studying it, including Britain itself.
On Wednesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow was resolved to retaliate the expulsions in kind but will do so at the appropriate time.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told the media in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, on Tuesday that the United States’ “colossal pressure and colossal blackmail” led to a decision by more than 20 countries to expel Russian diplomatic personnel.