17:45 GMT13 April 2021
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    Alleged Poisoning Attack on Russian Ex-Spy Skripal in UK (226)

    US President Donald Trump has weighed in on the United Kingdom's accusations against Russia in the case of the poisoning of former intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter.

    "It certainly looks like the Russians were behind it. Something that should never ever happen and we're taking it very seriously as I think are many others," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office on Thursday.

    The president decided to make a pronouncement on the UK's claims that Russia was behind the alleged poisoning attack involving a nerve agent on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, England.

    READ MORE: 'Russia Should Go Away and Shut Up' — UK Defense Minister Gavin Williamson

    Previously, Russian officials have denied all of London's claims that Moscow had somehow been involved in the incident. According to country's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Moscow was ready to cooperate in the investigation, provided that it has access to the case materials, including samples of the substance in question.

    READ MORE: Russian Envoy Demands UK to Provide Samples of Substance Used Against Skripal

    However, the UK foreign secretary publicly refused to send samples of the substance allegedly used to poison Skripal, explaining that Russian President Vladimir Putin is allegedly intent on telling people who are thinking of defecting from Russia "you do that, you're going to die."     

    Following the incident, UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced the largest expulsion of Russian diplomats from the UK since the Cold War, explaining the move by arguing that it was "highly likely" that Russia was responsible for the recent attack since the substance used to poison Skripal and his daughter Yulia was identified as a Novichok-class, military-grade nerve agent developed in Russia.

    Addressing the introduced punitive measures, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that it viewed them as a gross provocation that undermined the foundations of normal inter-state dialogue between the two countries and reiterated the Moscow's denial of involvement in the alleged poisoning.

    READ MORE: Lavrov on Skripal Case: Russia to Expel UK Diplomats in Response

    Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious, slumped on a bench in Salisbury after being exposed to what British experts have identified as a Russian-made nerve agent.

    Previously, former Russian intelligence agent Skripal had been accused of espionage on behalf of London. He fled the country and was later granted asylum in the United Kingdom after a US-Russia spy exchange.

    Alleged Poisoning Attack on Russian Ex-Spy Skripal in UK (226)
    poisoning, spy, MI6, GRU, Yulia Skripal, Sergei Skripal, Donald Trump, Salisbury, US, Russia, United Kingdom
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