UK Leader: Poisoning Part Of Russian Aggression

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LONDON — The Latest on the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in Britain (all times local):

5:20 p.m.

British Prime Minister Theresa May says her government has concluded it is “highly likely” Russia is responsible for the poisoning of an ex-spy and his daughter.

May told British lawmakers on Monday that Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, were exposed to a nerve agent known as Novichok (Novice), a weapon developed in the Soviet Union in the end of the Cold War

May says the attack in a city in England fits a pattern of Russian aggression and that Russia’s ambassador to the U.K. has been summoned to explain what happened.

She said: “We will not tolerate such a brazen attempt to murder innocent civilians on our soil.”

Skripal and his daughter remain in critical condition more than a week after they were found unconscious in Salisbury on March 4.

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5:10 p.m.

British Prime Minister Theresa May says the Russian ex-spy poisoned in England was exposed to a military-grade nerve agent of a type produced by Russia

May told lawmakers during an address in Parliament on Monday it was “highly likely’ Russia was responsible for poisoning Sergei Skripal, the former Russian military intelligence officer who was convicted of spying for Britain.

May says Russia’s ambassador to the U.K. has been summoned to explain how a Russian nerve agent turned up in Salisbury, the English city where Skripal and his adult daughter were sickened.

The British prime minister says if Moscow is proven to be behind the poisoning, her government will consider it an “unlawful use of force” by Russia.

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2:20 p.m.

Russian President Vladimir Putin says Britain should figure out what happened to ex-spy Sergei Skripal before blaming the poisoning on Russia.

Asked by a British reporter in southern Russia if Russia was behind the poisoning, Putin said in comments carried by Russian news wires on Monday: “You first get to the bottom of things over there, and after that we can discuss it.”

Skripal is a former Russian military intelligence officer who was convicted of spying in Britain and released from prison as part of a spy swap.

He and his daughter remain in critical condition following the March 4 nerve agent attack in England. Authorities haven’t said what nerve agent was used.

British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to update lawmakers later Monday on the case.

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11:40 a.m.

The Kremlin has rejected suggestions that it might be behind the poisoning of an ex-Russian spy and his daughter that has left them in critical condition.

Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for President Vladimir Putin, told reporters that Sergei Skripal worked for British intelligence and was poisoned on British soil, and therefore the incident “has nothing to do with Russia, let alone the Russian leadership.” Peskov also said the Kremlin has not heard any official statements of Russian involvement.

Earlier Monday, senior British lawmaker Tom Tugendhat told the BBC the March 4 poisoning of Skripal and his daughter Yulia is looking “like it was state-sponsored attempted murder.” The British prime minister is chairing a National Security Council meeting later on Monday to hear the latest evidence.

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9:10 a.m.

A senior British lawmaker says the poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter is “looking awfully like it was state-sponsored attempted murder.”

Tom Tugendhat told the BBC it is still too early to be absolutely certain. The chairman of the Foreign Affairs committee said he would be “surprised” if Prime Minister Theresa May does not end up blaming Russian officials for the attack.

He says the announcement may come soon. May is chairing a National Security Council meeting Monday to hear the latest evidence.

Skripal and his daughter Yulia remain in critical condition following the March 4 nerve agent attack.

Officials have not said what nerve agent was used or who is to blame.

The 66-year-old Skripal worked for Russian military intelligence before he was recruited to spy for Britain.

MAR 12, 2018 - 1:40 PM EDT AP

 
 

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