Sunday, 15 July, 2018


UK's Johnson says it's 'overwhelmingly likely' Putin ordered nerve agent attack

GETTY IMAGESPutin could target any one section of thousands of miles of undersea cables and still cause chaos GETTY IMAGESPutin could target any one section of thousands of miles of undersea cables and still cause chaos
Kristine Garrett | 18 March, 2018, 00:35

The quartet wrote "there is no plausible alternative explanation" except Russian responsibility for the attack on British soil, and the Kremlin's failure to respond to a "legitimate request" for an explanation "further underlines its responsibility".

Putin's spokesman denounced the claim as "shocking and inexcusable".

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said Britain had no quarrel with the Russian people but that it was overwhelmingly likely that Putin himself took the decision to deploy the nerve toxin in England.

RIA news agency quoted Russia's ambassador to Britain as saying the diplomats are due to leave London on 20 March.

"We have said on different levels and occasions that Russian Federation has nothing to do with this story", he said.

Alexander Shulgin, Russia's envoy at the Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, has said in televised remarks that the nerve agent used to poison former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter on March 4 may have come from British or US stockpiles. Russia's foreign minister said Britain's defense minister "lacks education".

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius told The Associated Press that the Salisbury attack was a direct challenge to Europe.

The statement made no mention of Sergei Skripal.

But Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russian Federation was not anxious by global expressions of support for the United Kingdom and challenged Britain to "provide some confirmation". Russian Federation has said it will reply in kind. In a statement late Friday, May's office said the OPCW agreed to travel to Britain to collect a sample of the nerve agent.

Britain says the Russian state is behind the poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the English city of Salisbury. It is in the U.K.'s interests in terms of security, support and goodwill, if firm and resolute action - that is the need of the hour - is thoroughly backed by reason and evidence.

Russian Federation denies being the source of the nerve agent, suggesting it could have been another country, and has demanded Britain share samples collected by investigators.

According to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, there is no record of Novichok nerve agents having been declared by any nation that signed the Chemical Weapons convention.

He said even the name Novichok was a "Western invention" and that Russian Federation never gave it a name. He said it was "very unlikely" the Novichok used in Salisbury could have been lost or stolen in the years after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.

De Bretton-Gordon dismissed that claim as "complete hogwash".

The UK government says they were poisoned with a nerve agent of a type developed by Russian Federation called Novichok and PM Theresa May said she believed Moscow was "culpable".

Sergei Skripal, a former colonel of Russia's GRU military intelligence service, looks on inside the defendants' cage as he attends a hearing at the Moscow military district court, Russia August 9, 2006.

Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said today the alliance did not want a return to Cold War hostilities with Russian Federation while expressing support for Britain's stance.

Mirzayanov revealed details of Russia's chemical weapons in the 1990s because he said he was afraid of their impact. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said in the Guardian that it's possible that "Russian mafia-like groups", rather than the Russian state, were responsible.

May warned more measures could follow, noting that the US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliance and the UN Security Council had discussed the attack, while it was also expected to be on the agenda at a European Union summit next week.

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