World leaders back UK's Novichok nerve agent allegations against Russia

The leaders of the United States, France, Germany and Canada have backed Britain's assessment that two suspe...

Posted: Sep 6, 2018 6:13 PM
Updated: Sep 6, 2018 6:13 PM

The leaders of the United States, France, Germany and Canada have backed Britain's assessment that two suspects accused of poisoning a Russian ex-spy and his daughter in the UK were Russian military intelligence officers, and that the Russian government "almost certainly" approved the attack.

British Prime Minister Theresa May presented the assessment parliament on Wednesday, after prosecutors said they had "sufficient evidence" to charge two Russian nationals in connection with attack.

2018 Russian spy poisoning

Biological and chemical weapons

Continents and regions

Diseases and disorders

Eastern Europe

England

Espionage

Europe

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Government departments and authorities

Health and medical

Intelligence services

International relations and national security

Military

Military weapons

National security

Northern Europe

Poisonings

Russia

United Kingdom

Weapons and arms

Weapons of mass destruction

Crime, law enforcement and corrections

Criminal law

Law and legal system

North America

The Americas

United States

Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia Skripal, were poisoned with the military-grade nerve agent Novichok in the English city of Salisbury in March, in a case that triggered a diplomatic crisis between the UK and Russia. The Skripals and a police officer who were hospitalized in the attack have all been discharged.

Britain's Crown Prosecution Service said the two suspects traveled to the UK as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, almost certainly aliases. Prosecutors are seeking charges of conspiracy to murder, attempted murder, the use and possession of Novichok, and causing grievous bodily harm.

"We have full confidence in the British assessment that the two suspects were officers from the Russian military intelligence service, also known as the GRU, and that this operation was almost certainly approved at a senior government level," the leaders said in a joint statement on Thursday.

The leaders also urged Russia to fully disclose its Novichok program to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, an international watchdog.

"We, the leaders of France, Germany, the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, reiterate our outrage at the use of a chemical nerve agent, known as Novichok, in Salisbury on March 4," the letter said.

The letter also noted the UK's assessment that Novichok also poisoned Dawn Sturgess and Charles Rowley, a couple living in Amesbury, near Salisbury. They became ill after exposure to liquid in a perfume bottle they found in a charity bin. Sturgess died on July 8 as a result of her exposure to Novichok. UK investigators have formally linked the two cases, but police said the couple did not appear to have been deliberately targeted.

Russia fires back

Prosecutors have obtained a European Arrest Warrant and the police are seeking to circulate Interpol Red Notices. The Russian constitution does not permit extradition of its own nationals.

While the two Russians are believed to have been traveling under aliases, they had genuine Russian passports, prosecutors said.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova dismissed the claims. "A link with Russia is being alleged. The names published in the media, like the photos, do not tell us anything," she said.

She called on the British authorities "to move from public accusations and information manipulation to practical cooperation through law enforcement agencies" and repeated Russia's demand that they answer Moscow's queries about the case.

"The investigation of such serious crimes -- which the UK side has repeatedly alleged -- requires the most careful work, scrupulous analysis of data and close cooperation," she said.

More than 20 countries have supported the UK in its allegations against Russia, expelling more than 100 Russian diplomats between them. The US also imposed new sanctions on Russia over the case, which the Kremlin criticized as "categorically unacceptable" and "illegal."

Terre Haute
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 67°
Robinson
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 59°
Indianapolis
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 65°
Rockville
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 64°
Casey
Few Clouds
64° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 64°
Brazil
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 67°
Marshall
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 67°
Clear, Cool Overnight
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 283559

Reported Deaths: 8774
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook1414305187
DuPage17091554
Lake16636487
Will13720376
Kane12889325
St. Clair6421188
Winnebago5634149
Madison5511136
Champaign453820
McHenry4506118
Peoria335249
McLean322322
Rock Island290175
Kankakee269477
Sangamon231144
Unassigned2244236
Kendall196625
Tazewell167821
LaSalle165856
DeKalb152638
Macon145444
Coles141730
Williamson137142
Jackson125024
Clinton110120
Boone108223
Adams105510
Randolph92811
Effingham8481
Whiteside71320
Vermilion6734
Ogle6626
Grundy6545
Henry6475
Monroe64215
Morgan64023
Knox6313
Bureau61211
Jefferson58438
Marion5270
Macoupin5237
Franklin5143
Union50724
Stephenson4986
Christian46311
McDonough46015
Logan4481
Crawford4203
Woodford4126
Cass39311
Fayette3893
Jersey38714
Shelby3664
Iroquois35919
Livingston3556
Lee3531
Montgomery34813
Perry34215
Warren3192
Saline3073
Bond3045
Douglas2937
Wayne2645
Jo Daviess2532
Lawrence2522
Carroll2184
Greene2187
Moultrie2083
Cumberland2044
Jasper2039
Washington2031
Hancock2013
Richland1764
Pulaski1671
White1640
Fulton1570
Clark1562
Johnson1490
Wabash1491
Clay1420
Mason1341
Mercer1335
Piatt1320
Pike1211
Menard1200
Edgar1128
Massac1062
De Witt1051
Ford1005
Marshall990
Scott760
Alexander741
Gallatin712
Hamilton670
Henderson660
Edwards640
Putnam550
Stark542
Schuyler480
Calhoun470
Brown450
Hardin370
Pope261
Out of IL30

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 114236

Reported Deaths: 3548
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion21067764
Lake10397321
Elkhart6477109
St. Joseph6312105
Allen6113201
Hamilton4803109
Vanderburgh353630
Hendricks2694123
Monroe253136
Tippecanoe234713
Johnson2291123
Clark218756
Porter210546
Cass19399
Delaware191861
Vigo180324
Madison161975
LaPorte140540
Floyd135161
Howard129263
Warrick123436
Kosciusko121117
Bartholomew115557
Marshall99724
Dubois96418
Boone96046
Hancock91743
Grant90334
Noble90032
Henry79326
Wayne75114
Jackson7469
Morgan70938
Shelby66829
Daviess65828
Dearborn64728
LaGrange63411
Clinton59514
Harrison56624
Putnam54211
Knox5139
Lawrence51028
Montgomery50721
Gibson4964
White48314
DeKalb46811
Decatur45839
Miami4313
Greene42235
Fayette41913
Jasper3902
Steuben3787
Scott36711
Sullivan33312
Posey3160
Jennings31212
Franklin30325
Clay2995
Orange28824
Ripley2878
Carroll27313
Wabash2638
Washington2631
Whitley2617
Starke2597
Adams2553
Wells2513
Jefferson2473
Fulton2352
Spencer2283
Huntington2253
Tipton22122
Perry21613
Randolph2117
Jay1760
Newton17211
Owen1681
Martin1640
Rush1544
Pike1431
Vermillion1270
Fountain1202
Pulaski1161
Blackford1143
Brown1043
Crawford1040
Parke972
Benton880
Ohio787
Union780
Switzerland690
Warren391
Unassigned0226