>> Total rubbish and nonsense, that's Vladimir Putin's assessment of British allegations that Moscow was behind the poisoning of a former Russian double agent on British soil. Fresh from his election victory, Putin denied Russia had the means to carry out the nerve agent attack. Though he also had conciliatory words to offer.
>> Nevertheless, despite all these difficulties, we are ready for joint work. We're ready to address any questions and overcome any difficulties.>> But if denials continue to come from the Kremlin, then London is unlikely to change its stance.>> This is a classic Russian strategy of trying to conceal the needle of truth in a haystack of lies and obfuscation.
>> British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson arrived in Brussels on Monday to brief EU ministers, and told reporters that Russian denials are increasingly absurd. The EU has offered its full solidarity to the UK, though diplomats have warned there's no immediate prospect of fresh economic sanctions on Moscow to add to Britain's expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats.
The Kremlin's tit for tat response to that was to expel the same number of British officials. On Monday, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons arrived in the UK to collect samples of the toxin used against Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. Both of whom remain in a critical condition more than two weeks after being found unconscious on a bench in the quiet English city of Salisbury.