March 11, 2019 / 12:04 PM / 5 months ago

Kremlin says it's not Putin's place to answer Briton whose mother died in poisoning

FILE PHOTO: Flowers are placed next to barriers outside the street where Dawn Sturgess lived before dying after being exposed to a Novichok nerve agent, in Salisbury, Britain, July 19, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

MOSCOW (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin will not reply to a letter from the son of a woman killed by a suspected Russian nerve agent near the English city of Salisbury last year because Russia’s ambassador to Britain has already done so, the Kremlin said on Monday.

Ewan Hope called on Putin in a letter publicized by the Daily Mirror earlier this month to allow Britain to question two Russian nationals London suspects of trying to murder former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter last year.

Moscow has denied involvement in the attack.

Hope’s mother, Dawn Sturgess, died after coming into contact with the same nerve agent used in the attack, which her partner found in a discarded perfume bottle, police said.

The suspects are now thought to be in Russia.

When asked on Monday whether Putin would respond to Hope, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he would not, saying it was a job for Russia’s ambassador to Britain.

“No, he (Putin) is not obliged to reply at all,” said Peskov.

The Russian embassy in London said on Wednesday it had received Hope’s letter and that the Russian ambassador had offered his condolences to him. It said in a statement that the ambassador had offered to meet Hope and answer any questions he had.

Reporting by Tom Balmforth; editing by Andrew Osborn

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