Russian UK ambassador says: we had no links to Cambridge Analytica

Russia's ambassador to the UK, Alexander Yakovenko, holds a news conference in the Russian Embassy in London, Britain, March 22, 2018. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

LONDON (Reuters) - Russia did not have any links to Cambridge Analytica, Russia’s ambassador in London Alexander Yakovenko said on Thursday.

Yakovenko was asked why he was once pictured beside Alexander Nix, the now suspended chief executive of Cambridge Analytica.

“One day I was invited to the Windsor (polo) club, and the main prize was the Russia vodka, Ivan the Terrible. And the organizers asked me ... why don’t you give the prize to all the members of the team,” he said.

“I gave the prize to maybe 10 people, 12 people, and that was the only time that I met this gentlemen,” Yakovenko said at a briefing in the embassy in London. “But the picture is good, I like it.”

“We didn’t have any contacts with Cambridge Analytica... We didn’t have any connections, we didn’t meet with anybody, and that was the only time, when I met this gentleman in the Windsor polo club.”

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and Alistair Smout; editing by Stephen Addison