Ex-Russian spy: London promises to react if a state is involved

Ⓒ AFP – Ben STANSALL – | Specialized teams are on the scene where the former
Russian spy and her daughter were discovered in Salisbury on
March 8, 2018

London has promised to respond “appropriately” if it turns
out that a state is involved in the poisoning of a former
Russian double agent and his daughter in the UK, which also
injured a police officer.

“The government will react if necessary, we will do it
right, at the right time, and on the basis of the best
evidence,” said British Prime Minister Theresa May on the ITV

Is it planning to expel the ambassador from the country
concerned? “We will do what is appropriate, which is right, if
it is proven that it is supported by a state,” she replied.

She had previously warned that her government could consider
a possible diplomatic boycott of the next World Cup football in
Russia, a country pointed out by his Foreign Minister Boris

Ⓒ Kommersant Photo/AFP/Archives – Yuri SENATOROV – | Sergei Skripal at his trial in Moscow, August 9,

The former spy Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Youlia,
33, “specifically targeted” by the administration of a police
innervant, remained on Thursday “unconscious and in critical
but stable condition,” said Minister of the Interior Amber

The hospitalized policeman, after helping them “get on
well,” can “sit down” and “talk,” said Kier Pritchard, police
chief of Wiltshire County (South West England), but ” he is
very anxious, very concerned “.

He described him as a married officer and “significantly
involved” in his work.

In total, “21 people were taken care of” including Skripal
and her daughter, said Kier Pritchard. “A number of them were
treated at the hospital, they had blood tests, support and

– Speculation –

In the peaceful community of Salisbury, where the attack
took place, the police continue their investigation. The Zizzi
pizzeria restaurant and The Mill pub where the father and
daughter had gone remained closed to the public and supervised
by a police cordon. The bench on which the pair was found
Sunday in an outdoor mall was covered with a tent.

Investigators are also interested in the death of Skripal’s
wife in 2012 as a result of cancer, as well as the sudden death
of her brother two years ago and that of her son last year in
Saint -Peterburg, because of liver disease.

Ⓒ AFP – Ben STANSALL – | A security cordon surrounds the tombstone of Sergueï
Skripal’s wife, Liudmila, on March 8, 2018 in

On Thursday, the police cordoned off the tombstone of Mr.
Skripal’s wife, Liudmila, and the memorial stone of his son,
Alexander, who was cremated.

The former spy and her daughter were poisoned by an
innervating agent, a chemical that acts on the nervous system
and can lead to death. Among the most well-known include sarin
and Agent VX, used to assassinate Kim Jong-un’s half-brother in
February 2017.

Amber Rudd said it was a “very rare” toxic substance.

Ⓒ AFP – Alain BOMMENEL, Sabrina BLANCHARD – | Sarin gas, VX: 2 powerful innervating agents

But unlike Boris Johnson, she refused to speculate on the
perpetrators of the crime, while many see the hand of Moscow,
already involved in London poisoning polonium-210 Alexander
Litvinenko, a former Russian secret service agent, in London in

The Russian Embassy in the United Kingdom praised the
“responsible” approach of the Minister of the Interior: “first
the evidence and then the conclusions in Mr Skripal’s

“When Boris Berezovsky (former oligarch died in unsolved
circumstances in London in March 2013) and Alexander
Perepilichni (44-year-old businessman found dead in front of
his Surrey property) died in the UK, there was a lot of
speculation in the media, then all the findings were filed, and
no information was provided to Russia, “added the embassy.

– ‘Shocking’ –

In Salisbury, people were still
traumatized by the tragedy.

“We could have walked next door and be hit, you know, it’s
very shocking and disturbing that things like that can happen,”
Jackie Tothill told AFP.

A former colonel in the Russian Army Intelligence Service,
Sergei Skripal was charged with “high treason” for selling
information to British intelligence, and sentenced in 2006 to
13 years in prison. In 2010, he had been the subject of a
prisoner exchange organized between Moscow, London and
Washington, and had settled in England.

The police are trying to determine whether her daughter, who
arrived in the UK from Moscow last week by bringing a “gift
from friends”, has introduced herself in this way to the
innervating agent in the country, according to The Times. The
poison could also have been sprayed on them or introduced into
their food or drink.

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