Russian Involvement: Salisbury Poison to be Examined by International Forensics

Cheryl Sanders
March 21, 2018

Twenty-three Russian diplomats and their families were on their way home on Tuesday after being expelled by the United Kingdom government in retaliation against the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury on March 4.

The Kremlin, for its part, has called the allegations "groundless" and has announced it will expell 23 British diplomats and close the British Consulate in St. Petersburg in turn.

Britain has thrown out 23 Russian diplomats over the nerve agent attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia on March 4. Both of them remain in critical condition.

Diplomats expelled from the Russian embassy in London began leaving the building with their families and luggage on Tuesday, AFP journalists witnessed.

Speaking in Brussels alongside British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on Monday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Russia's response had so far "demonstrated a clear disregard for global peace and security".

Arriving for a meeting with European Union counterparts in Brussels, the Foreign Secretary said Moscow's denials over the incident were "increasingly absurd" as he accused the Kremlin of changing its story regarding the Novichok nerve agent Britain says was used in the attack.

He said "all fingers point towards Russia's involvement in this" however he maintained that he would still "do business" with President Vladimir Putin if Labour came into power.

The United States and European powers say they share Britain's belief that Russian Federation is culpable for the poisoning though they have given no indication of what they will do about it.

The Russian foreign ministry has invited foreign envoys to a meeting on 21 March with arms control experts to discuss the affair, the state-run TASS news agency reported on Tuesday.

French President Emmanuel Macron repeated Monday that Moscow should "shed light on the responsibilities for the unacceptable attack in Salisbury, and to firmly regain control of any programmes that have not been declared" to the OPCW.

Meanwhile, the head of counter-terrorism policing in the UK, Met Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, said the focus of the Salisbury investigation is "on the movements of the Skripals".

Investigators have said that it may take "months" to complete the inquiry.

Other reports by iNewsToday