UK, US, Germany and France condemn Russian Federation for spy attack

Elias Hubbard
March 17, 2018

A Putin spokesman said the President would "choose the option that will serve the interests of Russian Federation best of all", and complained that May's accusations were "not backed up by anything".

The US treasury department said the use of a military-grade nerve agent in the Salisbury incident "further demonstrates the reckless and irresponsible conduct of its (Russia's) government".

The allies said it was an assault on United Kingdom sovereignty and said they agreed with Prime Minister Theresa May's assessment Russian Federation was responsible.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said an European Union summit next week would discuss the issue, in the first instance to seek clarity.

Russian Federation has demanded that Britain share samples collected by investigators.

London says the Russian state is responsible for trying to kill Sergei Skripal-a former Russian intelligence officer who betrayed dozens of agents to Britain's MI6-with Novichok, a lethal nerve agent developed by the Soviet military.

Echoing the foreign secretary, May said there would be "other measures" put in place beyond the sanctions announced on Wednesday, "including ensuring that people aren't able to come here into the United Kingdom when they are potentially involved in hostile state activity".

They also opened a murder investigation into the death of Nikolai Glushkov, a former associate of the late tycoon Boris Berezovsky.

A police officer patrols outside the British embassy in Moscow. "The British blame game based on the word "likely", but not on trustworthy investigation, hard facts and proper worldwide procedures, is highly reprehensible and extremely counterproductive".

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, meanwhile, declined to lay the blame firmly with Moscow, saying the nerve agent "appears" to be from Russian Federation "either from the state or from a rogue element of the state".

Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, remain in the hospital in critical condition.

The Daily Telegraph reported on Thursday that the nerve agent used in the attack could have been planted in Yulia Skripal's suitcase during a recent trip to Moscow.

When asked how Britain might respond to any retaliation, Britain's Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson said that Russian Federation "should go away, it should shut up".

France has been accused by some sections of the British press of undermining the UK's attempts to build a consensus over retaliation against Russian Federation for the spy poison attack in Salisbury, southern England.

Novichok, the type of nerve agent, which Britain says was used in the attack, could not have been manufactured by "non-state actors", Britain's representative, Jonathan Allen, said.

"We have nothing against the Russians themselves".

"It seems like (the Novichok) was disguised incredibly cunningly, because if you suddenly realized there was this horrendous substance in something that you thought was innocuous, you would immediately raise the alarm", he said. But he stresses that ordinary Russians should not get caught in the crossfire of political maneuvering: "What we don't want to do is to alienate the Russian people".

Britain has also updated its travel advice to its nationals, ahead of this summer's World Cup in Russian Federation, warning of the possibility of "anti-British sentiment or harassment". Williamson studied social science at the University of Bradford. "Maybe he lacks upbringing".

Victoria, 45, from Yaroslavl, north east of Moscow, said: "My opinion is that it was done not against Uncle Sergei, but against his daughter". "Russia's likely involvement in this is also absolutely unacceptable and needs to be condemned in the strongest terms".

Writing in the Guardian he warned against a "new Cold War" of "escalating arms spending, proxy conflicts across the globe and a McCarthyite intolerance of dissent".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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