THE Russian Ambassador said he stands together with the people of Salisbury in a meeting with the Journal today, as the United States announced new sanctions against the country.

Speaking at his official residence in Kensington Palace Gardens this afternoon, Alexander Yakovenko said: "We are together with the people of Salisbury."

And he said he wanted to tell the city that Russia "has nothing to do with" the attack on Sergei and Yulia Skripal in March.

"We want to cooperate on that matter [the ongoing investigation] in order to find the truth and in order to protect the life of Russian citizens," Mr Yakovenko said.

"In the long term, we are expecting Britain will punish the ones who did it.

"We really wish success to the investigation."

And he expressed frustration over new sanctions imposed by the USA today, after President Trump said he too believed Russia was behind the poisoning.

Mr Yakovenko said: "Our diplomats who were summoned to the State Department asked, could they present any evidence or any facts? They were told that this information was classified."

The Ambassador maintains that Russia will cooperate with the UK government's investigation if evidence is shared with Moscow.

Full interview to follow in next week's Journal.