U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May Says It’s ‘Highly Likely’ Russia Poisoned Spy

The British Prime Minister has publicly blamed Russia for the attempted murder of former spy Sergei Skripal. In an extraordinary statement in the British parliament on Monday afternoon, May said Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, were poisoned using a “military grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia.” She identified the nerve agent used as belonging to a group of agents known as Novichok, and said Russia has previously used the agent and “would still be capable of doing so.” The Prime Minister went on: “[Given] Russia’s record of conducting state-sponsored assassinations, and our assessment that Russia views some defectors as legitimate targets for assassinations, the government has concluded that is is highly likely that Russia was responsible for the act against Sergei and Yulia Skripal.” May said the only possibilities were that the attack was either directly ordered by the Russian state, or that Russia “lost control” of a nerve agent it had produced. She confirmed the Russian ambassador has been summoned to the U.K. Foreign Office, and she has demanded “full and complete disclosure” of the Novichok program from Russia by the end of Tuesday. If Russia fails to respond adequately by then, the Prime Minister said she will consider the attack as an “unlawful use of force” by the Russian state against the U.K. and will set out retaliatory measures. Russia has since responded to May’s remarks, saying it as a fairy tale” and “another information and political campaign based on provocation.” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova also demanded an answer for the cases of Russians who “mysteriously died on British soil.”

SOURCE: The Daily Beast