The head of Russia’s SVR foreign intelligence agency said Wednesday the poisoning of a Russian former double agent in Britain was a “grotesque provocation” by the British and US security services.
“Even when it comes to the grotesque provocation with the Skripals that was crudely concocted by the British and American security services, a number of European countries are in no rush to unquestioningly follow London and Washington but prefer to look into what has happened in detail,” SVR chief Sergei Naryshkin said at a security conference.
He also warned that Moscow and the West must avoid the risk of escalating their current standoff to the dangerous levels reached at the height of the Cold War.
“It’s important to stop the irresponsible game of raising stakes and to stop the use of force in relations between states, not to bring matters to a new Cuban Missile Crisis,” he said, referring to the 1962 standoff between the Soviet Union and the United States that brought the world to the brink of nuclear war.
Naryshkin said that for Washington, “fighting the non-existent so-called Russian threat has become a real fixation” comparable in scale to the Cold War era.
“It has reached such proportions and developed such ludicrous characteristics, that it’s time to talk about the return of the grim times of the Cold War,” Naryshkin said.
He suggested that the West wants to shut itself off from Russia as it once did from the Soviet Union, saying that “seized by fear of changes, the West is ready to put up a new Iron Curtain around itself.”