EU ambassador to Russia recalled over spy poisoning

EU ambassador to Russia recalled over spy poisoning

Theresa May has said that the European Council is "standing together"

Friday, March 23, 2018

The EU ambassador to Russia is being recalled in order to consult with Brussels over the Salisbury nerve agent attack.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said recalling the ambassador is a "measure" but isn't a "sanction" against Moscow.

Theresa May has said that the European Council is "standing together" over the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

EU leaders have backed the Prime Minister by accepting the only "plausible explanation" for the attack is that Russia was responsible.

May spoke over dinner, addressing the 27 other EU leaders: "I welcome the fact that the EU Council has agreed with the United Kingdom Government's assessment that it is highly likely that Russia is responsible for the attempted murder that took place on the streets of Salisbury and that there is no plausible alternative explanation.

"The threat that Russia poses respects no borders and it is a threat to our values and it is right that here in the EU Council we are standing together to uphold those values."

Ireland's Europe minister Helen McEntee has told the BBC the country will "absolutely, consider all options moving forward" when asked if it would recall its own ambassador from Moscow.

She added: "But, for now, we are united, we are strong behind the UK on this, and we firmly believe that we need to stick together."

Skripal and his daughter are still being treated in hospital and a judge has ruled that a blood sample can be taken from them for testing at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, as they are unable to consent because they are unconcious.

The police officer who was hospitalised after attending the scene where the pair were found in Salisbury has now been discharged.