Sergei Skripal was convicted of spying by Russia in 2006.
Russia-made nerve agents, chemical weapons of war, were used to poison a former spy who was living in the United Kingdom, and his daughter. That is the determination of the intelligence agencies of Britain, said Prime Minister Theresa May today from London.
She says an inter-agency investigation found that the mysterious poisoning of Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter, Yulia, 33, is being treated as a political assassination by Russia on British soil.
Prime Minister May today said it was an “indiscriminate and reckless act against the United Kingdom.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin in public comments last week obliquely seemed to take responsibility, while not addressing the event directly. “Those who serve us with poison will eventually swallow it and poison themselves,” Putin said, as news of the ex-spy's poisoning first broke.
Russia is known for bold and cruel assassinations—-by chemical agents-- of citizens it identifies as traitors to the state. But the audaciousness of this attack, on an elderly man and his adult child in a sleepy small town, was notable.
On MSNBC as the news broke this afternoon, U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul said, “This is outrageous, They went to a town and poisond a pensioner in Salisbury, Hundreds of people were poisoned and injured. Demands a response from Nato and EU and I hope the president will understand the negative consequences of not responding, because that makes him look weak in the eyes of Vladimir Putin.”