Home » World

Johnson: 'Overwhelmingly likely' Putin ordered nerve agent attack

19 March, 2018, 05:47 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • Russia boots 23 UK diplomats in spy-poisoning tit for tat

Accusing the Russian state of the nerve agent attack, Britain is expelling 23 Russian diplomats and is trying to build a coalition of countries to punish Moscow as a result.

Russia's Foreign Ministry ordered the expulsion of 23 British diplomats from Russia on Saturday in a tit-for-tat response to Britain's decision to expel Russian envoys in connection with the poisoning of a former Russian double agent and his daughter on British soil. Twenty three British diplomats have been declared personae non gratae and will be expelled within a week, Russia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Saturday. United Kingdom officials believe the Skripals were exposed to a nerve agent known as Novichok that was developed in Russian Federation.

Putin convened a meeting of his security council in Moscow today to discuss how to retaliate against Mrs May's decision to kick out 23 Russian diplomats from the UK. As of 13 March 2018, they remain critically ill at Salisbury District Hospital.

The incident revived memories of the fate of Alexander Litvinenko, a Russian dissident who died of Polonium radiation poisoning in London in 2006 in an attack that Britain also blamed on Russia.

Speaking to the BBC news on Thursday, Johnson said the rare Soviet-made chemical weapon used against Skripal and his daughter in the town of Salisbury was specifically chosen to send a message to political dissenters challenging Russia's President Vladimir Putin.

Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted by Russian news agencies as calling Johnson's statement a "shocking and inexcusable breach of diplomatic propriety".

Prime Minister Theresa May said Britain will consider further retaliatory steps in the coming days alongside its allies.

A Russian lawmaker warned Britain against escalating the crisis. Mirzayanov said he revealed the existence of Novichok because he thought it was necessary to deprive Russian Federation of its "deadly secret". She said the March 4 attack on Skripal was a "flagrant breach of global law and the chemical weapons convention".




Other measures included closing the British Council and shutting down the British consulate in St Petersburg, while the country indicated it could take further action should there be what it called more "unfriendly" moves.

Johnson said the evidence of Russian guilt was "overwhelming" because only Moscow had access to the poison used and a motive for harming Skripal.

He also said he thinks the Skripals, who are in critical condition, have little chance of surviving.

European Council president Donald Tusk said Wednesday that the attack was "most likely" inspired by Moscow and announced he would put the issue on the agenda at an EU leaders' summit next week.

The ministry said Moscow's measures were a response to what it called Britain's "provocative actions and groundless accusations".

"It is possible that (Britain) will continue to respond; we are ready for this".

She said: "There is no alternative conclusion other than that the Russian state was culpable for the attempted murder of Mr Skripal and his daughter - and for threatening the lives of other British citizens in Salisbury, including Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey".

Recommended:



Popular

One winning Powerball ticket worth $456M sold in Pa.
If the victor decides to take the cash lump sum option, they will receive about $273.9 million, Powerball officials said. The exact location of where the winning ticket was sold has not been released as of yet.

Paul Lambert says Stoke deserved more from Everton defeat
Allardyce said that he had no doubts about the striker's ability in front of goal despite his slow start. Everton won against Stoke City in the Premier League on Saturday.

Little Caesars owes you free pizza from UMBC historic win
When all was said and done, the biggest upset in March Madness history happened and it is going to cost Little Caesars Pizza. Despite the heartbreak of a broken bracket, Little Caesars hopes UVA fans can muster up an appetite for some humble pie.

10 killed as aircraft crashes into house
TEN people were killed today when a small aircraft slammed into a home in the Philippines wiping out a family eating their lunch. The crash killed all five people on board and fire more people on the ground in Plaridel, according to the latest police report.

Virginia coach Tony Bennett on NCAA exit: 'We had a historic loss'
In 1982, the Cavaliers , then ranked first in the country, fell to little-known Chaminade during a holiday tournament in Hawaii. Virginia was No. 1 in the tournament, No. 1 in the polls, just off making history by going unbeaten on the road in the ACC.

Alabama Defeats Virginia Tech In The First Round — March Madness
Davidson (21-11), 7:10 p.m., CBS: Coach John Calipari feels his team was seeded incorrectly and unjustly placed in a remote site. State has exceeded expectations under first-year coach Kevin Keatts; next season might be the time for a first-round victory.

United Airlines flight diverted after third pet incident in a week
United said that the dogs were put on the wrong planes when being moved from connecting flights in Denver. Then, days later, the airline sent a German Shepard that was supposed to go to Kansas was sent to Japan.

Final 'Avengers: Infinity War' Trailer: Thanos Makes Our Heroes Suffer
The premiere of Infinity War's latest theatrical trailer coincided with the movie's presale tickets going on sale at 9 a.m. The movie will be out in cinemas on April 27 - but first, here's the action-packed trailer.

UGA announces hiring of former IN basketball coach Tom Crean
Georgia extended an offer to former Ohio State coach Thad Matta, but Matta announced Wednesday that he was turning down the job. Georgia needs a new basketball coach, and the program is exploring the possibility of hiring current ESPN analyst Tom Crean .

Toys 'R' Us planning to close all 735 stores nationwide
The company was taken over by private equity giants KKR, Bain Capital and real estate investment company Vornado in 2005. Toys R Us said in its liquidation filing that those price cuts were a big reason behind its weak holiday sales.