Moscow Calls May’s Claim About Russian Trace in Ex-Spy’s Poisoning ‘Circus Show’

Monday, March 12, 2018
By Paul Martin

British Prime Minister Theresa May has said that Moscow was either responsible for ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal’s poisoning, or allowed the military-grade nerve agent to get into the hands of those who were.

Downing Street has summoned the Russian ambassador to the UK to explain how a military-grade nerve agent of a type produced in Russia ended up in Salisbury, May said, speaking to lawmakers after meeting with the UK’s National Security Council.

The prime minister said it was “highly likely that Russia was responsible for the act against Sergei and [his daughter] Yulia Skripal,” and warned that Moscow now has until the end of Tuesday to disclose the details of its Novichok nerve agents program to the the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). If a credible response is not received, London will consider the poisoning as the use of force on British territory, she noted.

“It is now clear that Mr. Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia. This is part of a group of agents known as Novichok,” May said.

“Either this was a direct act by the Russian state against our country, or the Russian government lost control of its potentially catastrophically damaging nerve agent and allowed it to get into the hands of others,” she added.

The prime minister stressed that there can no longer be any question of “business as usual” with Russia, and warned that Britain will stand ready to take more extensive measures against Moscow.
According to the prime minister, the investigation into Skripal’s poisoning continues.

Responding to May’s claims, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova described the prime minister’s remarks as a “circus show in the UK’s parliament.”

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