Tom Tugendhat: Salisbury attack ‘is a threat to the world order’

Tom Tugendhat: Salisbury attack ‘is a threat to the world order’

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Tom Tugendhat, the chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee has said that the UK needs to “hit Putin where it hurts” and that the Salisbury attack “is a threat to the world order”, despite Theresa May not explicitly implicating the Kremlin for the attack.

Mr Tugendhat told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer: “These are not agents, these are GRU officers and they have conducted a war-like act in the United Kingdom, which is the use of a chemical weapon on foreign soil.”

He added: “We need to hit Putin where it hurts and that is in his wallet to make sure the oligarchs who have effectively done a deal with Putin, because he holds the power and they get to play with the money.

“They don’t get to play with the money because this is not on. This is threatening not only to us in the direct sense, the murder of a innocent British woman is one indicator of that, but this is a threat to the world order.

“The order that has kept the peace since the end of the Second World War.”

 

‘They do not mean anything to me’

Police and Prosecutors have said there is sufficient evidence to charge Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov with conspiring to murder Sergei Skripal and attempting to murder the ex-Russian spy, his daughter Yulia and Wiltshire Police detective sergeant Nick Bailey.

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said the two suspects are aged around 40 and it is likely they were travelling under aliases and Petrov and Boshirov are not their real names.

Mr Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned in March by the nerve agent Novichok.

The Prime Minister Theresa May told MPs investigations had concluded that the two suspects are members of the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence service, and that it was not a “rogue operation”.

Mrs May did not explicitly blame the Kremlin for authorising the attempted murder of Mr Skripal.

Moscow has repeatedly denied claims that Russia was behind the attack in March.

 

‘Australia shares the UK’s anger’

President Putin’s foreign policy advisor, Yuri Ushakov, told reporters in Moscow that the names of the suspects “do not mean anything to me”. 

British and Russian officials are set to meet on Thursday at the UN Security Council, after Britain called a meeting to update members on the Salisbury investigation.

As a permanent member of the Security Council, Russia will be represented at Thursday’s meeting in New York. 

Australia has said it is in “lock step” with Britain and committed to holding Russia to account over the Salisbury attack.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and foreign minister Marise Payne issued a joint statement after Theresa May’s statement on Wednesday.

The statement said: “Australia shares the UK's anger and outrage at this dangerous and deliberate act by Russia, which also puts at risk the British public, police and other first responders.

"We are in lock step with the UK on the importance of holding Russia to account and reaffirm our support for calls on Russia to fully disclose the extent of its chemical weapons programme."