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'Unprecedented Incident': Skripal Poisoning Cost UK Police Over $10 Million

© Sputnik / Alex McNaughton / Go to the photo bankSalisbury have begun cleaning the spots related to Skripal poisoning
Salisbury have begun cleaning the spots related to Skripal poisoning - Sputnik International
A suspected nerve agent attack targeting ex-GRU Colonel Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury earlier this year resulted in the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats from the UK, with Moscow responding with tit-for-tat diplomatic sanctions, as bilateral relations deteriorated.

The investigation and decontamination of the incident has so far cost UK police forces £7.5 million (over US$10 million at the current GBP/USD exchange rate), the BBC reported today, citing the local police and crime commissioner (PCC.)

READ MORE: Russia Ready to Provide Any Assistance for Yulia Skripal’s Return Home — Moscow

As well as revealing the cost of the operation, PCC Angus Macpherson insisted that the UK government must make good on its promise to foot the bill and warned the operation’s cost could rise further.

“[It’s a] national operation which must be paid for nationally. I don't want anyone to forget the undertaking of Policing Minister Nick Hurd when he said [the British government] would meet the costs," PCC Macpherson said on Monday.

The UK Embassy in Moscow - Sputnik International
Time for UK to Apologize to Moscow for Accusations Over Skripal Case - Embassy
He described the operation that followed the poisoning as a “massive effort,” stating that in excess of 140 officers from Wiltshire Police were involved at the investigation’s peak, plus other personnel and specialists from 40 UK police forces.  

The regional PCC also thanked Salisbury’s residents for “showing their resilience.”

Meanwhile, Kier Pritchard, Wiltshire Police’s chief constable, praised all of the forces for their assistance and said the “unprecedented incident” was dealt with the “very best of UK policing.”

In addition to the cost of the police operation itself, the incident has had other adverse financial consequences, with the local economy suffering due to business closures.

In response to local businesses facing plummeting revenues, of up to 80 percent in some cases, the government has dished out a quarter of a million pounds in financial aid in recent weeks.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation building in Moscow - Sputnik International
Russia Expels One Belgian Diplomat in Response Over Skripal Case
UK Prime Minister Theresa May and others in her government instantly accused Russia of being behind the attack, and imposed a package of diplomatic sanctions against Moscow. Several UK allies acted in solidarity and cumulatively expelled over 100 Russian diplomats.

Moscow has repeatedly denied any involvement in the incident, and opted to pursue retaliatory measures against the sanctioning states.

READ MORE: Salisbury Medics Say They Thought Skripals Were on Opioids

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