Skripal Novichok poisonings: Russian agents accused

10 September, 2018, 13:45 | Author: Rachel Logan
  • The two suspects caught on CCTV while standing at Salisbury railway station at 16:11hrs on 03 March 2018  Metropolitan Police Handout

Russian Federation will be present at the meeting because of its status as a Security Council member.

Two Russian military intelligence officers are accused of carrying out the Salisbury nerve agent attack.

British authorities and the global chemical weapons watchdog say the victims were exposed to Novichok, a type of military-grade nerve agent developed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

No. 10 said that the it was "almost certainly" authorised at the top of the Russian state and signalled that, having dismantled the Russian intelligence network in the United Kingdom by expelling 24 agents in March, it would now be upping its efforts to disrupt their effectiveness by other means.

The Prime Minister kept things opaque in her statement to the Commons, talking about deploying the full range of national security measures.

Mr Skripal, 66, a former GRU colonel who had worked as a double-agent for MI6, and his 33-year-old daughter fell gravely ill on 4 March after the front door of the Russian intelligence officer's home was smeared with liquid Novichok.

May called the attack "sickening and despicable" and described the movements of the suspects, who have be named as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.

Peskov recalled that Russian Federation offered Britain cooperation in the investigation into the Skripal case from the very beginning, but Britain declined to accept it. Basu said the passports were genuine but the names were probably aliases, and appealed to the public to help identify the men.

Russia claimed that there was nothing new in the UK's allegations and criticised the UK's account as a means to "unleash a disgusting anti-Russian hysteria".

Ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned in March.

More news: How it works, format, structure and so on — UEFA Nations League

Zakharova called on Britain to co-operate with Russian law enforcement agencies on the investigation. She has criticized London for turning down Moscow's request to see the case files.

The case has been likened by British politicians to the murder of Russian dissident and former KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko, who was poisoned with a rare radioactive isotope in a London hotel in 2006.

Police say the two men flew back to Moscow from Heathrow Airport on the evening of March 4, hours after the Skripals were found collapsed on a park bench in Salisbury.

Poland expelled four Russian diplomats as part of a coordinated global response to the suspected nerve agent attack in Salisbury.

Her partner, Charlie Rowley, 48, was also treated in the same Salisbury hospital and later released.

Police are still trying to determine where the bottle was between the Skripal poisoning in March and its discovery by Rowley on June 27.

Police said they were liaising with prosecutors about further charges in connection with the death of Ms Sturgess and the poisoning of Mr Rowley.

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu also confirmed officers have now linked the attack on the Skripals to events in nearby Amesbury four months later.

With spy film forensic detail, the Prime Minister outlined today the government's exact allegations about the Salisbury novichok poisoning, providing routes and tactics of two Russian GRU (military intelligence) officers who she said came to the United Kingdom intending to kill a Russian defector.

The release of CCTV images and other evidence against the two men was accompanied by an announcement from the Crown Prosecution Service that it had approved charges against them including attempted murder and possession of the military-grade Novichok nerve agent.

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