Poisoned Ex-Spy Exposes Fissures Between U.K. Leaders Over Russia | WBEZ
Skip to main content


Poisoned Ex-Spy Exposes Fissures Between U.K. Leaders Over Russia

Days before Russian President Vladimir Putin sailed to a landslide reelection victory, British Prime Minister Theresa May accused his government of poisoning a former double agent for the United Kingdom on her soil.

Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with a chemical nerve agent. Both are listed in critical condition. 

In response, May expelled 23 Russian diplomats from the U.K. Putin denies the accusations. 

U.K. opposition Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, expressed skepticism of May’s decision, according to a report in The Guardian. Corbyn said the diplomatic row would lead to bad business with Russia, and could compromise the U.K.’s other foreign interests. Others accuse Ms. May of not doing enough to counter a growing Russian threat. 

To discuss the role of Russian relations in British parliamentary politics, we’re joined by Luke Harding, foreign correspondent for The Guardian. He was Moscow correspondent from 2007 to 2011. Harding is the author of A Very Expensive Poison: The Assassination of Alexander Litvinenko and Russia's War with the West, and most recently, Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win.

Get the WBEZ App

Download the best live and on-demand public radio experience. Find out more.