Russia's foreign minister has said relations between Moscow and the West are worse than during the Cold War, claiming there is a current "obsession with Russophobia".

Sergei Lavrov told the BBCs Hardtalk that there was still no proof that chemical weapons had been used in Douma and that "frankly speaking, all the evidence they quoted was based on media reports and social networks".

Lavrov added: "A canister lying on a bed and the bed is intact and the window glass is not broken – look, you need to be a bit more serious. Why strike the day before the OPCW [Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons] is going to move there and verify the fact which they assert was a fact?"

Representatives of the OPCW have reported today that they are being blocked from accessing the site and are still not able to conduct their independent investigation into the attack.

However, the Prime Minister – who is due to give a statement to MPs about the decision to side with the US and France over airstrikes – has already cited "a significant body of information including intelligence" for acting.

Lavrov noted that relations between the two sides – which were already at a low point in the wake of the Salisbury nerve agent attack – were worse than the post-WWII period "because during the Cold War there were channels of communication and there was no obsession with Russophobia, which looks like genocide by sanctions".




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