US, Canada, France and Germany back UK over novichok attack
Novichok poisonings US, Canada, France and Germany back UK over novichok attack
May wins support for claim Salisbury attack was perpetrated by Russian agents
Theresa May has received strong international backing for her claim that the Salisbury attack was perpetrated by Russian secret service agents, in a joint statement from the French, Canadian, US and German governments.
As Britain prepares to confront Russia at the UN security council, the four countries joined with the UK to underline the findings of the police investigation into the novichok attack.
Their statement said they had full confidence in Britainâs assessment that the two suspects were members of Russiaâs GRU, and agreed that their operation was âalmost certainlyâ approved at a senior level of the Russian government.
The statement added: âYesterdayâs announcement further strengthens our intent to continue to disrupt the hostile activities of foreign intelligence networks in our territories, uphold the prohibition of chemical weapons, protect our citizens and defend ourselves from all forms of malign state activity directed against us and our societies.â
May told MPs on Wednesday that a painstaking investigation had gathered clear evidence that the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter was carried out by Russian agents, and named the suspects as Ruslan Boshirov and Al exander Petrov.
She also said the incident that killed Dawn Sturgess and left Charlie Rowley seriously ill appeared to be linked.
Downing Street has said Britain will push for tougher sanctions against Russia â" and tougher enforcement of the existing regime â" to increase pressure on the Kremlin.
Russia has denied involvement in the attack, with a foreign ministry spokeswoman saying: âThe names published by the media, like the photographs, donât mean anything to us.â
May told MPs on Wednesday: âThe GRU is a highly disciplined organisation with a well-established chain of command. So this was not a rogue operation. It was almost certainly also approved outside the GRU at a senior level of the Russian state.â
Mayâs spokesman said the prime minister had spoken to the US president, Donald Trump, on Tuesday evening, to the Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, on Wednesday, and earlier on Thursday to Angela Merkel, the German chancello r, and the French president, Emmanuel Macron.
- Novichok poisonings
- Sergei Skripal
- Theresa May
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