Home Local Putin fury: Britain's on knife-edge with Russia as relations 'close to frozen'

Putin fury: Britain's on knife-edge with Russia as relations 'close to frozen'

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Ambassador Andrei Kelin has also denied Russia’s alleged interference in UK politics and accused Britain of throwing “a lot of mud” at Russia. Mr Kelin warned Britain’s attitude towards Russia was affecting the relationship between the two countries, saying it is “close to being frozen.”

He also claimed Britain “exaggerates” how important it is to Russia.

The ambassador said: “The scope and place of Great Britain in Russian politics is not that big. We have other problems of much larger magnitude.”

In a newspaper interview, Mr Kelin addressed a number of issues relating to UK and Russia.

He denied Russia had hacked into the private emails of Tory MP Liam Fox and subsequently leaked documents.

Documents from Mr Fox’s emails had been leaked ahead of the 2019 general election, and were used by Labour as evidence the NHS would be put at risk in a future trade deal with the US.

A criminal inquiry into the leaking of the documents is currently being carried out the National Crime Agency.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab confirmed last month the government has “reasonable confidence” Russia attempted to meddle in the 2019 vote.

Mr Kelin also denied Russia had interfered in the Brexit referendum in 2016.

READ: Guy Verhofstadt lashes out at Russia report – ‘Many unanswered questions’

Mr Lebedev, who owns British newspapers the Evening Standard and the Independent, was among 35 other life peerage nominations put forward by Mr Johnson last week.

Mr Johnson has so far declined to comment as to why Mr Lebedev was nominated for a peerage.

The decision stoked controversy due to the size of the House of Lords even prior to the new peerages; the Lord Speaker has warned there could be more than 800 Lords.

Despite this, Downing Street has insisted the government is still committed to reducing this number.

Peers in the House of Lords can claim up to £300 for every day they attend sessions – or £150 if they attend remotely.

In other Russia news, a state-owned nuclear energy firm Rosatom is planning to remove dangerously radioactive debris from the seafloor of the Arctic.

According to Russian news agency TASS, the firm will aim to clean up six radioactive items from the sea over eight years.

These include parts of old nuclear submarines and nuclear reactors with spent fuel.

It is alleged the debris came to be there due to an accident in the transport of old nuclear vehicles and kit following a Soviet-era arms race.



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