Salisbury poisonings: Russian nationals named as suspects


Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia addresses a Security Council meeting on the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal, at the UN headquarters in New York, April 5, 2018.

The use of the military grade nerve agent of Russian origin known as Novichok, and the alleged attack to murder former Russian former spy, Sergi Skirpal and his daughter, has stiffened Theresa May's stand to sanction Russia.

The council will meet in open session at around 11:30 am (1530 GMT), diplomats said.

The identification of the two Russian military intelligence officers (said to belong to Russia's main intelligence directorate for its military, Glavnoye Razvedyvatel'noye Upravleniye or GRU) followed a painstaking recreation of their movements, aided in large part by the ubiquitous network of surveillance cameras in the U.K. The two are seen entering the country on March 2, staying in London, and traveling to Salisbury.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov are wanted for conspiracy to murder Sergei Skripal and the attempted murder of Yulia Skripal and police officer Nick Bailey.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Mrs May said: "This was not a rogue operation".

In a statement, the Russian Embassy in the United Kingdom accused the British authorities of being unwilling to engage with them and called on the Government to "give up politicised public accusations".

Two days later, police say they sprayed the nerve agent, Novichok, on the front door of Mr Skripal's home in the Wiltshire city of Salisbury, before travelling home to Russian Federation later that day.

Detectives believe the front door of Mr Skripal's Salisbury home was contaminated with Novichok on March 4.

Russian Federation faced a fresh wave of worldwide condemnation over the Salisbury spy poisoning as it claimed Britain was lying about the latest developments in the case.

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At a UN Security Council meeting held the same day, Russian Federation dismissed Britain's evidence as "lies" and said its investigation was "politically motivated". They spent weeks hospitalized in critical condition and are now recovering in a secret location for their own protection.

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday underlined that "28 other countries, as well as North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, joined us in expelling a total of over 150 Russian intelligence officers: the largest collective expulsion ever", following the Salisbury attack.

Mr Corbyn had a security briefing this morning from officials which doesn't appear to have gone into "next steps" but did manage to convince him that the Russian state itself was responsible for the attacks in Salisbury and the Russian state should be condemned.

"They left Salisbury and returned to Waterloo arriving at approximately 4.45pm and boarded the underground at approximately 6.30pm to Heathrow - from where they returned to Moscow on flight SU2585, departing at 10.30pm".

Britain says the responsibility for the attack goes all the way up to President Vladimir Putin.

In the second incident, Dawn Sturgess, 44, and her partner Charlie Rowley, 45, were exposed to the same nerve agent used in Salisbury.

The unveiling of the findings of what police said had been one of the most complex and intensive counter-terrorism investigations ever mounted was accompanied by a dose of realpolitik about the prospects of the two suspects - who are in their 40s and believed to have been travelling under aliases - facing trial.

She is expected to speak to other leaders over the next few days as she seeks to forge an global alliance for further action against Russian Federation.

Ms Sturgess died in hospital in July, just over a week after she and Mr Rowley fell ill.

Inconspicuously labeled as "Nina Ricci Premier Jour" and bearing the words "Made in France", the bottle had been specially created to be leakproof and had a custom applicator, UK Metropolitan police said. Russia's foreign ministry said the names given by Britain did not mean anything to Moscow.