Culture&Arts

United Kingdom deploys military in Russian Federation spy attack probe

United Kingdom deploys military in Russian Federation spy attack probe

"British Home Secretary Amber Rudd said Thursday that authorities were avoiding speculation but that Britain "would respond in a robust and appropriate manner" and that it was committed to bringing the perpetrators to justice, 'whoever they are and wherever they may be'".

Authorities are racing to find the source of the nerve agent used against 66-year-old Skripal, who came to Britain in 2010 as part of a spy swap, as politicians warned it bore the hallmarks of an attack by Russian Federation.

Nearly 200 specialists from the RAF and Marines began removing contaminated materials to be sent for analysis at the nearby Porton Down defence laboratory, seven days after the attempted assassination of Sergei Skripal, the Russian double agent.

"If you really need help from Russian Federation, then we will be ready to consider such a possibility, if we do have relevant data", he said, speaking in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Identifying the source of the nerve agent continues to be central to the probe, but Rudd has so far declined to name any potential culprits.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has been pointing the finger at Moscow.

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Defence minister Tobias Ellwood told the Press Association that the military's presence reflected the "seriousness" of the situation, adding: "We mustn't get ahead of ourselves but we must have a robust response and it's something that we'll be discussing with our North Atlantic Treaty Organisation partners and with the forthcoming summit in Brussels in July".

He is said to be in very serious, but stable condition.

May was "expected to announce sanctions" against Russian Federation "as soon as Monday", according to the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

On Friday, Russian Foreign Ministry Sergey Lavrov said Russia was ready to assist "any investigation" but that it was "not necessary to hurl unfounded accusations on TV".

He was found guilty of passing the identities of Russian intelligence agents working undercover in Europe to Britain's Secret Intelligence Service, or MI6, in return for $100,000.

He was pardoned before being flown to Britain as part of a high-profile spy swap involving Russian Federation and the United States in 2010.

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Ms Rudd said the pair are in a "very serious" condition five days after they were discovered slumped on a bench in Salisbury, Wiltshire.

Nick Bailey, one of the first officers on the scene, is also being treated but is sitting up and talking after initially being admitted to intensive care.

There has been speculation that the pair were murdered by Russian Federation after Mr Skripal's betrayal in selling secrets to MI6.

At a Salisbury cemetery, investigators in full hazmat suits set up tents over the grave of Liudmila Skripal and the memorial of Alexander Skripal, who both died in recent years, the Guardian reported.

Mr Skripal's wife passed away in the United Kingdom but Alexander and Valeri died in Russian Federation and any fresh probe into the circumstances will need the cooperation of the authorities in Moscow.

Government minister John Glen, the member of parliament for Salisbury, said a "whole range of tools are at our disposal" once it is established who was behind the incident.

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The government will not act precipitously, he said, but will examine the facts rationally.


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