Russia’s ambassador says Australia’s media is “disgraceful” for its coverage of the expulsion of two Russian spies in Canberra over the Skripal poisoning in the UK.
Grigory Logvinov spent almost an hour talking to reporters in Canberra last week, denying Russia was involved with the nerve agent attack on former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury.
His comments made front page news, but Mr Logvinov has lashed out at reporters who he says humiliated themselves by asking about the poisoning.
“There is no real evidence of the Russian involvement in poisoning of the Skripals,” Mr Logvinov said in a statement on Tuesday.
“It was verified once again during the press conference, when the journalists put forward just repetitions of the unfounded accusations and personal attacks (first of all, humiliating for themselves) against all my reasonable arguments.”
The ambassador was unhappy as being described as “increasingly Soviet-Red in complexion”, a “Bond villain meets Lowes catalogue”, and the description of Russians as famously blunt.
“In the ‘wild’ Russia, such statements would trigger criminal prosecution as the deliberate incitement of discord between different ethnic groups,” Mr Logvinov’s statement said.
The two Canberra-based diplomats have left Australia, while Russia has expelled two Australian diplomats in return.
Britain has expelled 23 Russians, the US 60 and France and Germany four.