UK PM Theresa May on spy poisoning: Russia has “demonstrated complete disdain for the gravity of these events… they have treated the use of a military-grade nerve agent in Europe with sarcasm, contempt and defiance.” https://t.co/gqdE3G5ihu pic.twitter.com/hRnYCZvYp5
— CNN (@CNN) March 14, 2018
British Prime Minister Theresa May is taking a hardened stance against the Kremlin regarding the assassination attempt of a former Russian spy.
May is now declaring that the Russian state is guilty of the attempted murder of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.
LONDON (AP) — British prime minister May: Russian state is guilty of attempted murder of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter.
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) March 14, 2018
In response, May announced on Wednesday the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats from the U.K.
Speaking before the House of Commons, May said Russia’s failure to explain the attack “demonstrated complete disdain,” and “treated the use of a military-grade nerve agent in Europe with sarcasm, contempt and defiance.”
A nerve agent was smeared on Skripal’s car door handle, immediately poisoning the former Russian spy and his daughter. They remain in critical condition in the hospital.
Earlier this week, May stated that it was “highly likely” that the Kremlin was responsible for the nerve agent attack, after the U.K. government concluded the chemical use could have only originated in Russia.
Russia immediately pushed back against the allegation.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) March 14, 2018
The Russian ambassador to the UK say the declaration is “absolutely unacceptable and we consider this a provocation.”
The White House initially declined to take a position on the matter. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stood firmly with Theresa May on Tuesday, saying there will be a “clear response” to the chemical attack (as announced on Twitter yesterday, Tillerson has been fired and will leave the post at the end of the month).
Later on Tuesday, President Donald Trump backed May and in a statement demanded “consequences for those who use these heinous weapons in flagrant violation of international norms,” adding that the U.S. government is “ready to provide any assistance” in the UK’s investigation.
[image via screengrab]
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