00:27 GMT12 May 2021
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    The UK police published new data on the Skripal poisoning investigation yesterday, presenting photos and the names of two Russian nationals who allegedly attempted to poison Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

    The United Kingdom, France, Germany, the United States and Canada on Thursday issued a joint statement saying that the countries backed London's assessment claiming that the suspects in the Salisbury nerve agent attack were officers from the Russian military intelligence service (GRU) and that the attack was almost certainly approved at a senior government level.

    "We, the leaders of France, Germany, the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, reiterate our outrage at the use of a chemical nerve agent, known as Novichok, in Salisbury on 4 March. … We have full confidence in the British assessment that the two suspects were officers from the Russian military intelligence service, also known as the GRU, and that this operation was almost certainly approved at a senior government level," the statement read.

    In addition, the countries welcomed the progress in the investigation and praised the work of the UK police.

    "We welcome the progress made in the investigation into the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, and take note of the attempted murder charges brought yesterday against two suspects. We commend the work of the UK Police and all those involved in this investigation," the statement read.

    Following new findings in the poisoning case involving Sergei Skripal, UK Envoy to the UN Karen Pierce said that the UK would consider expanding sanctions against Russia. 

    "We will be discussing with our allies what the best steps are. As you know 28 countries and NATO joined us in expelling Russian diplomats when Salisbury first happened," Pierce said when asked if the UK would expand sanctions on Russia.

    Pierce also noted that the UK had obtained a European arrest warrant for two Russian individuals allegedly responsible for poisoning former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal in Salisbury.

    "This evidence is being sufficient for our independent prosecuting authorities to bring criminal charges in relation to Salisbury attack and to issue European arrest warrants," Pierce said. "With respect to these two individuals, we have obtained a European arrest warrant and we will shortly issue an Interpol Red Notice."

    According to the statement, London and its allies called on Russia to disclose its "Novichok programme" to the OPCW.

    READ MORE: D-Notice, Parallels to Syrian War Raise Questions in Skripal Case

    Earlier in the day, UK Minister of State for Security Ben Wallace said that Russian President Vladimir Putin "bears very strong responsibility" for the poisoning of the Skripals in the city of Salisbury.

    Commenting on the accusations, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov had expressed regret that London had refused to cooperate with Russia on the investigation and reiterated that Russia was ready to work with British authorities on the case if they make a formal request to do so.

    On Wednesday, The UK Crown Prosecution Service said it had sufficient evidence to charge Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov in the Salisbury nerve agent attack. The UK government has also alleged that the two individuals were officers of the Russian Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU).


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    poison, Novichok, Poisoning of Sergei Skripal, Ben Wallace, Theresa May, Germany, Canada, US, United Kingdom, France
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