Latest development in Salisbury ex-Russian spy crisis

11 Marcha, 2018, 00:39 | Author: Gregg Anderson
  • British investigators in Salisbury

In the wake of the poisoning of a Russian former double agent and his daughter in the city of Salisbury, Britain has deployed specialist troops to remove potentially contaminated objects.

Personnel from the Royal Air Force, British Army and Royal Navy were among those sent to Salisbury on Friday, a Defence Ministry spokesman told CNN on Friday. Military vehicles arrived at Salisbury District Hospital, where the victims are being treated, to take away a police auto.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd has visited the city centre and the hospital where Mr Skripal, 66, and Yulia, 33, remain after they were targeted in an "outrageous" chemical attack.

"Someone has come onto our soil... has recklessly, brazenly, committed what looks like a very nasty crime, with a nerve agent prohibited, by most worldwide laws... and has potentially put lots of people at risk", he said.

Skripal has been living in Britain since 2010, when he was part of a prisoner exchange for 10 Russian spies arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said Thursday the government will retaliate with "appropriate" measures if Russian Federation is proved to be behind the attack.

Officials have also cordoned off an Italian restaurant and a pub Skripal and his daughter visited before their collapse, as well as a cemetery where Skripal's wife, Lyudmila, is buried and where there is also a memorial headstone for his son, Alexander.

Although British authorities have rarely pointed the finger at the Russian government, the use of a nerve agent in the Skripal case has renewed concern about Kremlin involvement.

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"The profession of a traitor is one of the most unsafe in the world", said the presenter, Kirill Kleimenov, adding: "Don't choose Britain as a place to live".

Scotland Yard is not conducting the exhumation of bodies of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal's family members, a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) told Sputnik on Saturday.

Johnson had said the case had "echoes" of what happened to former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko, who died a slow death after drinking tea laced with highly radioactive polonium-210 in a London hotel in 2006. They said experts had identified the substance, which will help determine the source, but they did not name it publicly.

She declined to give details of the police investigation.

Skripal, a former Russian military intelligence officer, was convicted in 2006 of spying for Britain and was released by Moscow in 2010 as part of a spy swap.

A British public inquiry said Litvinenko's killing had probably been approved by Russian President Vladimir Putin and carried out by two Russians, Dmitry Kovtun and Andrei Lugovoy. Sky News reported that policemen in chemical protection suits took away flowers from the grave of Skripal's wife and son in Salisbury, which the poisoned relatives had brought there shortly before the incident.

Moscow has reacted angrily to the accusations it was involved, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday dismissing them as baseless "propaganda".

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