March 13, 2018 01:20:12by

Putin 'smirks' when asked if Russia is responsible for Skripal poisoning

Putin \'smirks\' when asked if Russia is responsible for Skripal poisoning

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President Vladimir Putin appeared to smirk at cameras when asked by a journalist whether he was responsible for the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

In a clip uploaded to Twitter by BBC Moscow correspondent Steve Rosenberg, Putin is seen taking a tour at Russia's National Grain Centre.

As he approaches Rosenberg, he stops to engage in conversation after being asked: "Is Russia behind the poisoning of Sergei Skripal?."

The 65-year-old President dips his head slightly, before offering the hint of a grin as he stops to reply.

Putin says: "Look, we're busy here with agriculture. As you can see the aim is to create good conditions for people's lives.

"And you ask me about some tragedies. Get to the bottom of things there first and then we'll talk about this."

Former double agent Sergei, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, have been in hospital in a critical condition since March 4 when they were found unconscious on a bench outside a shopping centre in the southern English city of Salisbury.

Relations between Britain and Russia plummeted even further yesterday as Theresa May publicly blamed Russia for a chemical weapons attack on UK soil.

In a damning House of Commons statement, the Prime Minister officially pointed the finger at Moscow for the first time over the poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal .

She declared Mr Skripal and his daughter were targeted with a Russian-developed "military grade nerve agent" called Novichok - and it was "highly likely" Russia was responsible for the attack.

Mrs May warned: "This attempted murder using a weapons-grade nerve agent in a British town was not just a crime against the Skripals.

"It was an indiscriminate and reckless act against the United Kingdom - putting the lives of innocent civilians at risk.

"And we will not tolerant such a brazen attempt to murder innocent civilians on our soil."

Russian President Vladimir Putin shrugged off questions yesterday as the Kremlin dismissed the allegations as a "circus show".