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Kremlin ‘regrets’ EU decision to recall Russia envoy in spy row

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A European Union flag is seen on a car parked outside the Russian Foreign Ministry headquarters in Moscow on March 21, 2018 as foreign dipomatic staff attend a meeting with the ministry’s experts on the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal in an English city this month. / AFP PHOTO / Yuri KADOBNOV

The Kremlin on Friday said it regretted the EU’s decision to recall its envoy to Russia after the bloc backed Britain’s view that Moscow is likely behind the poisoning of a former double agent.

European Union leaders agreed to recall the envoy to Moscow on Friday, saying “it is highly likely that the Russian Federation is responsible and that there is no plausible alternative explanation” for the March 4 nerve agent attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in England.

“As for the decision taken, we regret in this context that again such decisions are taken using the wording ‘highly likely’ and judgements are based on this,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists.

“We don’t agree with this and we repeat again that Russia absolutely definitely has nothing to do with the Skripal case.”

He added that the Kremlin specifically regretted the “recall (of the envoy) for consultations.”

Peskov said Russia did not know what “precise information the British side used when it discussed the topic of the Skripals with its colleagues.”

“We also don’t know what exactly the leaders of the EU states agreed with when they talked about their support for Britain,” he said.

Russia “unfortunately is not able to receive any information at all directly on the so-called Skripal case,” Peskov complained.

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