The Latest: UK calls Russia offer for joint probe ‘perverse’

MOSCOW (AP) — The latest on the poisoning of a Russian ex-spy and his daughter (all times local):

1:50 p.m.

The British delegation at an international meeting says Russia is asking for a joint probe into last month’s Salisbury nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy and dismissed the offer as “perverse.”

During a special meeting of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the British delegation called the offer for a UK-Russian investigation “a diversionary tactic, and yet more disinformation designed to evade the questions the Russian authorities must answer.”

The special council meeting in The Hague was requested by Russia a month after the March 4 attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

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1:15 p.m.

Russia’s Ambassador to the Czech Republic says his country is set to propose a solution to the crisis over the poisoning of an ex-Russian spy at an emergency meeting of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

Talking to reporters at the Russian embassy in Prague, Alexander Zmeyevskiy says Russia will propose “a civilized solution to the problem” but declined to give any details.

The closed-door meeting of the OPCW started Wednesday morning.

Zmeyevskiy also says his country is not blaming the Czech Republic for being involved in the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury.

Russian officials previously suggested the nerve agent used for the attack may have originated in the Czech Republic, Sweden and Slovakia. Acting Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis called it a lie.

The Czechs expelled three Russian diplomats in solidarity with Britain.

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12:30 p.m.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is holding an emergency meeting at Russia’s request on last month’s nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in Britain.

Russia has said that it will push Britain to provide evidence they might have in their hands about the attack in the English city of Salisbury on March 4 which left former double agent Sergei Skripal in critical condition. His daughter, Yulia, is recovering.

The OPCW said the closed-door meeting in The Hague, Netherlands, started in the morning. The Russian delegation plans to brief the media late Wednesday.

Britain’s Foreign Office said the move by Moscow to call for the meeting was a “diversionary tactic, intended to undermine the work of the OPCW in reaching a conclusion” about the nerve agent attack.

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11 a.m.

Russia’s spymaster says the poisoning of an ex-Russian spy and his daughter in Britain was staged by U.K. and U.S. intelligence agencies.

Sergei Naryshkin, director of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service, the top KGB successor agency, said the March 4 poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia was a “grotesque provocation rudely staged by the British and U.S. intelligence agencies.”

Speaking Wednesday at an international security conference organized by the Russian Defense Ministry, Naryshkin said the poisoning was the latest U.S. effort to undermine Russia and was akin to its practices during the Cold War.

Britain has blamed Russia for the nerve agent attack, an accusation that Russia has vehemently denied. Consequently, relations between the West and Russia are at their lowest ebb since the Cold War.

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