Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday former Russian spy Sergei Skirpal, who was poisoned this year in Britain, betrayed his country.
Although Putin has denied any involvement in the poisoning of Skripal and his daughter in March, he lashed out at the character of the former double agent at an energy forum in Moscow.
“I see that some of your colleagues are pushing the theory that Mr. Skripal was almost some kind of human rights activist,” Putin said at the energy forum. “He was simply a spy. A traitor to the motherland. There is such a concept – a traitor to the motherland. He was one of those.”
“He’s simply a scumbag, that’s all,” he added.
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Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were found slumped on a bench at a Salisbury shopping area on March 4 after the poisoning.
Last week, investigators determined the true identity of one of the two Russian suspects accused of the poisoning: a man known as Ruslan Boshirov. They say Boshirov is actually Anatoliy Chepiga, a highly decorated Russian intelligence colonel.
In a separate poisoning of a couple by the same Soviet-era nerve agent, a woman died in July.
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Also at the summit, Putin partially agreed with President Donald Trump that oil prices were too high, but added that it’s Trump’s fault.
“President Trump has said he thinks the oil price is too high. Well, probably to some extent he’s right, but we are absolutely OK with it at $65 to $75 per barrel to ensure the efficient operation of oil companies and ensure investment,” Putin said. “But let’s be frank, such oil prices are to some extent the result of the U.S. administration. I’m talking about sanctions against Iran, about political problems in Venezuela and just looking at what’s happening in Libya.”