US President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May discussed the need to take apart "Russia's spy network" in their countries in order to stop clandestine activities and future chemical weapons attacks, the White House said in a readout of a phone conversation between the two leaders on Wednesday.
"President Donald J. Trump spoke today with Prime Minister Theresa May of the United Kingdom. Both leaders agreed on the importance of dismantling Russia’s spy networks in the United Kingdom and the United States to curtail Russian clandestine activities and prevent future chemical weapons attacks on either country’s soil," the readout said.
May welcomed the US leader's decision to expel 60 Russian diplomats in connection with Skripal's poisoning, a Downing Street spokesperson said.
"Prime Minister Theresa May today spoke with President Trump to welcome the US decision to expel 60 Russian diplomats in response to the use of a nerve agent in Salisbury. The PM said the US had delivered a very strong response and welcomed the breadth of international action in response to Russia’s reckless and brazen behaviour – with 26 countries now putting expulsions in place," the spokesperson said as quoted in an official press release.
Russia has strongly rejected the accusations and offered assistance in the investigation. However, Moscow's request for samples of the chemical substance used to poison the Skripals has been rejected.
Former Russian intelligence officer Skripal and his daughter Yulia are in a UK hospital in critical condition after an exposure to what UK experts said was a chemical substance similar to a chemical substance allegedly developed in Russia. London has accused Russia of orchestrating the attack on the former spy and announced a series of punitive measures, including the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats.