UK, US, German and French leaders jointly condemn Salisbury attack

UK, US, German and French leaders jointly condemn Salisbury attack

Relations between Britain and Russian Federation have been strained since the murder of ex-KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko with radioactive polonium-210 in London in 2006, a killing which a British inquiry said was probably approved by Putin.

Britain, France, Germany and the USA today "abhorred" a nerve agent attack on former Russian spy and his daughter, saying it is an assault on the UK's sovereignty and threatens the security of all nations. His daughter, who lives in Moscow, was visiting him when the pair fell ill and were later found unconscious on a bench in Salisbury.

Sergei Skripal moved to Salisbury after being jailed for passing Russian state secrets to British intelligence while working for the Russian government in the 1990s.

Trump also said he would speak to UK Prime Minister Theresa May about the incident.

"Our quarrel is with Putin's Kremlin, and with his decision - and we think it overwhelmingly likely that it was his decision - to direct the use of a nerve agent on the streets of the United Kingdom, on the streets of Europe for the first time since the Second World War", Johnson said.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Wednesday that Washington believed Moscow was responsible for the attack, adding it was a crime worthy of U.N. Security Council action.

They add: "We call on Russian Federation to address all questions related to the attack in Salisbury". NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg followed that up Friday by saying that the incident reflected a Russian "pattern of reckless behavior" that includes cyberattacks and election meddling.

Any effective Security Council action seems highly unlikely, however, given that Russian Federation, like Britain and the United States, is a permanent, veto-wielding member of the body.

Meanwhile, the Russian ambassador to Ireland has described the British response to the Salisbury attack as "hype" and "propaganda".

But in a series of British media interviews early on Thursday, Johnson said the evidence of Russian guilt was "overwhelming" because only Moscow had access to the poison used and a motive for harming Sergei Skripal.

Claims of Russian responsibility were today rejected by the Russian ambassador to Ireland, Yury Filotov.

The British move is "an unprecedentedly rude provocation, which undermines the foundations of a normal dialogue between our countries", the ministry said in a statement.

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