Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has accused the U.K. and U.S. of trying to stop Russia from hosting the World Cup this summer, according to the British news channel BBC.
In an interview with Russian TV Channel 5, she said the “main aim” of the two western countries is to “take the World Cup out of Russia…[and] will use any means."
The UK wants to punish Russia after accusing it of being responsible for a nerve agent attack in Britain.
The British Royal Family will shun the World Cup as part of the British response and UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has likened Russia’s World Cup to Nazi Germany’s Olympic Games in 1936. One British Opposition MP has called for the Cup to be postponed or moved to another country.
However, there is currently no suggestion the England team will boycott the event which opens in June.
Hundreds of diplomats have been expelled on both sides in the dispute over the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the English town of Salisbury on 4 March. Mr. Skripal is still critically ill but stable, while his daughter is steadily recovering.
The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office has said it will consider a request for Russian consular access to Yulia, who is a Russian citizen.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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