Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

EU Joins UK in Denouncing Russia Over Poisoning of Spy

Russia's Putin declared winner in presidential vote EU Vows More Measures Against Russia Over Nerve-Agent Attack
Andrew Cummings | 24 March, 2018, 14:17

Moscow's allegations came after European Union member states - including France and Germany - announced they would be taking "coordinated measures" against the country.

"I think this is a wholly artificial exercise which came and will pass".

The EU has recalled its ambassador to Russia, German Markus Ederer, "for consultations" after saying on Thursday it was "highly likely" Russia was behind the attack.

He went on to add that Moscow was "highly likely" to be responsible for the attack - an opinion which is shared by the majority of European Union leaders.

As we reported earlier, Skripal, ex-GRU officer, was poisoned in British Salisbury on March 4. "This is clear." In a boost for May, the 28-member European Union collectively condemned the attack and declared in a Brussels summit statement that it was "highly likely" Moscow was responsible.

Britain says the expelled Russians, who left London earlier this week, were undeclared intelligence agents.

A bus reportedly carrying British diplomats expelled by Russian Federation leave the U.K. Embassy in Moscow on Friday.

Leo Varadkar, the Irish prime minister, said: "We will now consider in the coming days whether we want to take individual action in relation to Russian diplomats in Ireland".

According to media reports, Detective Sergeant Bailey was one of the first responders who tended to Sergei and Yulia Skripal when they were found unconscious on a bench in the city of Salisbury so he was also exposed to a toxic agent and had to be taken to the hospital.

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Later, Theresa May, UK Prime Minister, stated that Russian Federation was responsible for that, and the investigation confirmed the use of Novichok nerve agent, produced in Russian Federation.

A police officer standing near a cordoned-off area in Salisbury on March 11, where a former Russian Federation spy and his daughter were poisoned with a nerve agent.

French President Emmanuel Macron said Friday the poisoning with the Soviet-made "Novichok" agent was an "attack on European sovereignty", after EU leaders unanimously backed London's assessment that it was "highly likely" Moscow was to blame and that there was no plausible alternative explanation.

"We are determined to react together, with the language we used here, but also possibly through additional measures", Merkel said on March 22.

But divisions remain over how far to go, with Austria already ruling out expelling diplomats, and Tusk, a former Polish prime minister, said it was not clear how many states would join the expulsions.

Still, some said they could ill afford Russian retaliation against their own Moscow embassies, some of which employ barely a handful of accredited diplomats.

"I think it is clear that Russian Federation is challenging the values we share as Europeans, and it is right that we are standing together in defence of those values", she said.

Grybauskaite said Friday that "we got more detailed information from the prime minister May and it was very good information".

France's Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, on a visit to Kiev, signalled that Paris was considering expelling Russian diplomats in solidarity with Britain.

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