Britain to brief UN council on charges against Russian spies

Britain to brief UN council on charges against Russian spies

Britain to brief UN council on charges against Russian spies

The Russian Foreign Ministry called the charges "informational manipulation" and said the naming and release of photos of the two suspects "tell us nothing".

Britain charged two alleged Russian military intelligence officers with the nerve agent poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the English city of Salisbury, officials said Wednesday, though authorities held out little hope of being able to bring them to justice.

The men then discarded the bottle, which was later found by Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley from the nearby town of Amesbury.

Britain has issued a European arrest warrant for the two, meaning they could be detained if they leave Russian Federation for another European country. Prime Minister Theresa May told parliament the government had concluded they were officers in Russia's military intelligence service, the GRU.

"The GRU is a highly disciplined organisation with a well established chain of command, so this was not a rogue operation".

"I have only seen help from the Russian state", she said.

He said the pair flew into London's Gatwick Airport from Moscow two days before the Salisbury attack, on Friday, March 2, and stayed at a hotel in the east of the capital.

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The revelation adds another striking parallel between Mr. Skripal and another former Russian intelligence operative, Alexander Litvinenko, who died in London in 2006 after being poisoned by polonium 210.

Prior to the council session, the leaders of Britain, the United States, France, Germany, and Canada said they backed British law enforcement's conclusion that the poisoning was "almost certainly approved at a senior government level" in Russian Federation.

"Russian recklessness is appalling and irresponsible... we MUST uphold the global ban on chemical weapons", U.K. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said on Twitter on Tuesday.

The poisoning had sparked a Cold War-style diplomatic crisis between Russian Federation and the West, including the expulsion of hundreds of diplomats from both sides. The affair has worsened Russian relations with the West, already under strain over Ukraine, Syria and other issues.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley said everyone should be "chilled to the bone" with the findings. U.S. Ambassador to Britain Woody Johnson said on Twitter the United States stood with Britain in holding Russian Federation accountable for its "act of aggression".

"We take it [the allegations] very seriously, and we have been asking for cooperation from the United Kingdom authorities from day one", said Nebenzya, speaking to the press following a UN Security Council session. He described an investigation which involved 250 detectives and analysis of some 11,000 hours of video.

The men stayed at a hotel in London and travelled from Waterloo train station before being captured again on CCTV at Salisbury on March 4, the day the Skripals were attacked on March 4.

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The Skripals survived the attack but only after being hospitalized for weeks in critical condition.

Sergei Skripal, a former Russian spy poisoned in Britain in recent years collaborated with the intelligence of Spain, a country in constant struggle with Russian organized crime groups, some of which are associated with the Russian government.

The U.K. charged two Russian nationals over the attempted murder of a former spy and the use of a Novichok nerve agent on British soil, a move that will further sour ties with the Kremlin.

The Skripals and Bailey both recovered from their poisoning.

Police believe the nerve agent was smuggled to Britain in a counterfeit Nina Ricci perfume bottle and applied to the front door of Sergei Skripal's house.

Because another Russian double agent was murdered in London with the use of unusual radioactive fluids more than a decade ago, the British authorities assumed from the start that the Skripals' poisoning was due to foul play and called in experts in toxic substances.

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