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Theresa May thanks Trump for his ‘very strong response’ to Salisbury

Theresa May today thanked Donald Trump for his ‘very strong response’ to the Salisbury attack by expelling 60 Russian diplomats.

The US President shocked his critics by banishing the embassy staff and closing a consulate in Seattle.

He joined leaders from over 20 countries around the world in ordering the united crackdown on Russia in an unprecedented show of global unity.

The two leaders had a ten minute ‘friendly’ conversation during which the Prime Minister said the response showed the Kremlin the ‘brazen’ attack would not be tolerated.

The US President shocked his critics by banishing the embassy staff and closing a consulate in Seattle.

Theresa May today thanked Donald Trump for his ‘very strong response’ to the Salisbury attack by expelling 60 Russian diplomats.

Donald Trump joined leaders from over 20 countries around the world in ordering the united crackdown on Russia in an unprecedented show of global unity (pictured, Vladimir Putin in Russia today)

Donald Trump joined leaders from over 20 countries around the world in ordering the united crackdown on Russia in an unprecedented show of global unity (pictured, Vladimir Putin in Russia today)

A spokesman for Mrs May said: ‘The Prime Minister today spoke with President Trump to welcome the US decision to expel 60 Russian diplomats in response to the use of a nerve agent in Salisbury.

What is the Novichok nerve agent used against the Skripals?

The Novichok nerve agent used against former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia is among the most deadly poisons ever created.

They were secretly developed by the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold war in the 1970s and 1980s.

Communist scientists developed the poison so it would not be able to be detected by Nato’s chemical detection equipment.

They come in the form of a ultra-fine powder, Novichok is up to eight times more potent than the deadly VX gas.

Victims who are poisoned by the powder suffer muscle spasms, breathing problems and then cardiac arrest.

There is a known antidote to the nerve agent –  atropine can block the poison.

But doctors find it very tricky to administer the antidote because the dose would have to be so high it could prove fatal for the person. 

Novichok poisons are highly dangerous to handle, requiring the expertise of skilled scientists in a sophisticated lab.

Dr Vil Mirzayanov, former Chief of the Foreign Technical Counterintelligence Department at Russia’s premiere, was among the team of scientists who helped develop the agent.

In an article about the lethal weapon, he wrote: ‘They are extremely dangerous – most likely lethal – for people who would try to synthesise or manipulate them without the help of highly experienced scientists and engineers in special laboratory installations observing extreme safety measures.

‘Without exception, Novichok weapons cannot be used for any reason without specially trained military personnel under medical supervision.’

‘The PM said the US had delivered a very strong response and welcomed the breadth of international action in response to Russia’s reckless and brazen behaviour, with 26 countries now putting expulsions in place.’

More than 100 Russian diplomats have been ejected from the US, Canada and over 20 countries across Europe.

The wave of expulsions is a major victory for Mrs May who has been on a diplomatic blitz urging nations to come down hard on Russia.

Russian former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yuia are both fighting for the ir lives in hospital after being poisoned by Novichok.

Mrs May and Mr Trump also spoke about the steel tariffs the US has imposed on some countries.

The PM thanked the US leader for exempting the EU from the hefty charges, and said she hopes the exemptions can be made permanent.

Her spokesman said: ‘The PM welcomed the temporary exemption to steel and aluminium tariffs announced by the US last week with relation to the European Union. 

‘She said she looked forward to constructive talks taking place between the EU and US on making that exemption permanent.’

The spokesman said Mrs May had thanked Mr Trump for his personal support in securing the passage of the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act (Cloud Act) by the US. 

The Act ‘will provide an important tool in the investigation of terrorists and other offences in the UK and keep people living here safer’, she told the president.

But the two leaders did not discuss when Mr Trump’s long-awaited state visit to the UK will be. 

The US announced on Monday that it was joining countries around the world in expelling Russian diplomats.

Mr Trump’s ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, welcomed the move and said: ‘Here in New York, Russia uses the United Nations as a safe haven for dangerous activities within our own borders.’

A swathe of European states have expelled Russian diplomats alongside Canada and the US

Sergei Skripal (pictured) and his daughter Yulia have been in a critical condition since they were found unconscious on a bench outside a shopping centre in Salisbury on March 4

Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia (pictured) have been in a critical condition since they were found unconscious on a bench outside a shopping centre in Salisbury on March 4

Sergei Skripal (left) and his daughter Yulia (right) have been in a critical condition since they were found unconscious on a bench outside a shopping centre in Salisbury on March 4

Spokeswomen for the White House and the State Department, along with Haley and US ambassador to Moscow Jon Huntsman condemned the alleged Russian attack. 

Germany, France and Poland each expelled four diplomats, with Lithuania, Latvia and the Czech Republic also taking action. 

Ukraine – not an EU state – joined the European revolt by expelling 13 diplomats.

Canada followed suit by expelling three Kremlin staffers and, in a flurry of action yesterday evening, both Hungary and Norway announced the expulsion of one diplomat respectively. 

Soon after Spain announced the expulsion of two. 



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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