West calls on Russian Federation to explain nerve toxin attack on former spy

UK, US, France and Germany blame Russia for nerve agent attack

May's office says President Donald Trump told the prime minister the USA was "with the United Kingdom all the way".

The spy, 66-year-old Sergei Skripal and his 33-year-old daughter Yulia were poisoned with a nerve agent identified by British authorities as one made only by Russian Federation.

Prime Minister Theresa May was due to announce on Wednesday what Britain would do against Russia after a midnight deadline she set expired without an explanation from Moscow about how a Soviet-era nerve toxin was used to attack a Russian ex-spy.

"This use of a military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russian Federation, constitutes the first offensive use of a nerve agent in Europe since the Second World War".

The Western leaders said the use of the toxin was a clear breach of the Chemical Weapons Convention and worldwide law.

The joint statement Thursday came a day after U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the U.N. Security Council Wednesday that Moscow was behind the attack.

Haley added US officials stood "in absolutely solidarity" with Britain after the country expelled 23 Russian diplomats on Wednesday, a move it announced in response to nerve agent attack. Britain blames Russian Federation for the March 4 attack, which has left the pair in critical condition and a police officer seriously ill.

"This use of a military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russian Federation, constitutes the first offensive use of a nerve agent in Europe since the Second World War".

In a rapid escalation of a diplomatic crisis between the two countries, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said the U.K.'s problem was not with the Russian people but with the Russian leader.

Peter Wilson told reporters that Russian Federation, which President Vladimir Putin said in 2017 had destroyed all its chemical weapons under OPCW supervision, has in fact "failed for many years" to fully disclose its chemical weapons program.

They are reported to be in intensive care, fighting for their lives in a local hospital.

"Canada stands with its friend and ally the United Kingdom on this", he said.

British police are trying to reconstruct the movements of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the crucial hours before they were found unconscious from nerve agent poisoning.

The ministry said Moscow's measures were a response to what it called Britain's "provocative actions and groundless accusations".

"And organising a provocation around Sergei Skripal deflects attention", Mr Lavrov said.

In the strongest statement yet from the USA administration on the affair, Haley said Washington shared the UK's assessment that the Russian state was behind the poisoning and demanded a firm worldwide response.

"We will go after the money and actually we are going after the money", he said, adding that the National Crime Agency and Economic Crimes Unit were investigating a wide range of individuals.

The official military newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda (Red Star) interviewed the former head of Russia's GRU military intelligence, Fyodor Ladygin, who denied his officers had been involved.

Related:

Comments


Other news