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LONDON (Reuters) - Russia’s intelligence agencies spied on former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia for at least five years before they were attacked with a nerve agent in March, the national security adviser to Britain’s prime minister said.
Mark Sedwill said in a letter to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Friday that email accounts of Yulia had been targeted in 2013 by cyber specialists from Russia’s GRU military intelligence service.
Update - 1.45pm: Russia's ambassador has accused the British authorities of destroying evidence in the Salisbury nerve agent attack.
Alexander Yakovenko said the UK had yet to produce the evidence to back its claims that Russia was responsible for the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia.
"The British Government still hasn't produced any evidence in support of its position that would confirm their official version," he told a news conference at the Russian embassy in London.
"We get the impression the British Government is deliberately pursuing the policy of destroying all possible evidence."
Mr Yakovenko complained at the continued refusal of the British authorities to grant consular access to Ms Skripal following her discharge from hospital.
He questioned the authenticity of a statement issued by Ms Skripal through the Metropolitan Police saying she did not want to meet Russian officials.
"We are not allowed to see our citizens, talk to doctors, have no idea about the treatment the Russian nationals receive," he said.
"We cannot be sure that Yulia's refusal to see us is genuine. We have every reason to see such actions as the abduction of two Russian nationals.
"The statement made by Scotland Yard on behalf of Yulia Skripal only confirms our suspicions."
Mr Yakovenko complained they had not received the allegations in Sir Mark Sedwill's letter from the British authorities.
"It is not the right way how the serious people handle these issues," he said.
He described Sir Mark's claim that Russian intelligence had been interested in the Skripals since at least 2013 as a "big surprise".
originally posted by: vinifalou
UK is accusing Russia of performing both the Skripal attack and the Chlorine gas in Syria.
Russia's lies about all this are quite transparent and are quite comical.
originally posted by: oldcarpy
a reply to: Zcustosmorum
I want war and want people to die, do I? Just where the Hell do you get that from?