Russian state was culpable for Salisbury poisoning, says May

May hit back at Vladimir Putin's dismissal of the British Government claims

May hit back at Vladimir Putin's dismissal of the British Government's claims

Monday, March 19, 2018

Theresa May has hit back at Vladimir Putin's dismissal of the British Government's claim that Russia was responsible for the Salisbury spy poisoning.

The Prime Minister said Russia had the capability, motive and intent to carry out the attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, adding that there can be "no other conclusion".

Mrs May's comments followed strong words from Boris Johnson, who accused Russia of trying to conceal "the needle of truth in a haystack of lies" over the case - after Mr Putin dismissed the idea of Russian responsibility as "nonsense".

Arriving for a meeting with EU counterparts in Brussels, the Foreign Secretary said Moscow's denials over the incident were "increasingly absurd" as he accused the Kremlin of changing its story regarding the Novichok nerve agent Britain says was used in the attack.

Mr Johnson said: "At one time they (Russia) say that they never made Novichok, and at another time they say they did make Novichok, but all the stocks have been destroyed ... but some of them have mysteriously escaped to Sweden, or the Czech Republic, or Slovakia, or the United States, or even... the United Kingdom.

"I think what people can see is that this is a classic Russian strategy of trying to conceal the needle of truth in a haystack of lies and obfuscation."

Mrs May, speaking during a visit to Birmingham, said: "I'm clear that what we have seen shows that there is no other conclusion but that the Russian state is culpable for what happened on the streets of Salisbury."

Following reports around the possible exhumation of bodies of other Russians who died in suspicious circumstances, she added that it is a "matter for the police as to whether they feel that there are any previous cases that need to be investigated further".