Russia's Lavrov: We're not rubbing our hands with glee over Brexit

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Lavrov, addressing a news conference in Moscow, said Russia took no pleasure from Britain's Brexit-related political crisis despite its hard relations with London, which were worsened by the poisoning of a former Russian spy, Sergei Skripal, in England in March previous year.

Russian Federation says the range puts it outside the treaty and the distance they can fly is not as long as Washington alleges, meaning Moscow is fully compliant with the INF Treaty.

"He was caught red-handed", Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday.

He said Russian Federation would allow USA diplomats to visit Whelan for a second time and that an Irish diplomat was also due to meet him soon.

The foreign minister said Whelan will be facing spying charges, which could lead to 20-years in prison.

"He was detained at the moment he was carrying out specific illegal actions in his hotel", he continued.

"We weren't able to break any new ground yesterday with Russia", Thompson said of the January 15 meeting with Russian Foreign Ministry officials.

The same source was quoted as saying that Mr Whelan had been spying for 10 years using the internet to identify targets from whom he could obtain information and that the employee list he was caught with had always been of interest to USA spies.

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In Moscow, meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the United States of seeking to dismantle the system of weapons pacts and said that Moscow is willing to try and preserve the INF.

He said Moscow was not considering the possibility of a prisoner exchange.

Russia's foreign minister on Wednesday dismissed a report that President Trump is working on behalf of the Kremlin and accused the U.S. news media and Congress of trying to sabotage his administration.

'Neither his parents nor his siblings are flying to Russian Federation, and we have no plans to fly to Russian Federation, ' he said.

Paul Whelan's family is insisting that he is innocent and was in Russian Federation for a wedding.

The Kremlin's hopes for better relations with the USA under Mr Trump have been shattered by ongoing investigations into the allegations of collusion between Mr Trump's campaign and Russian Federation.

He added that such requests reflected illegitimate meddling in the United States president's constitutional right to conduct foreign policy.

The arrest has further strained relations between Moscow and Washington, which have soured over Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea, and subsequent economic sanctions and accusations of meddling in the USA presidential election.

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