News, Culture & Society

Theresa May updates Macron and Merkel on ‘reckless’ Salisbury attack

Prime Minister Theresa May has met with French president Emmanuel Macron and German chancellor Angela Merkel to update them on the Salisbury poisoning. 

A spokesman for Number 10 said the trio met ‘on the fringes’ of the European Council in Brussels today.  

The two leaders were told that scientists at Porton Down laboratories had identified the chemical used in the ‘reckless’ attack as part of the Russian-made Novichok group of nerve agents.

The spokesman added: ‘The Prime Minister also outlined our knowledge that Russia has previously produced this agent; Russia’s record of conducting state-sponsored assassinations; and our assessment that Russia views some defectors as legitimate targets for assassinations.’

Prime Minister Theresa May has met with French president Emmanuel Macron and German chancellor Angela Merkel to update them on the Salisbury poisoning

Theresa May chatted with French President Emmanuel Macron as she arrived at the EU summit where leaders are expected to rubber stamp the Brexit deal

Theresa May chatted with French President Emmanuel Macron as she arrived at the EU summit where leaders are expected to rubber stamp the Brexit deal

Theresa May also chatted with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who she is pressing to take a tough stand on Russia in the wake of the Salisbury poison case 

Theresa May also chatted with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who she is pressing to take a tough stand on Russia in the wake of the Salisbury poison case 

France and Germany then reaffirmed with Mrs May that there was ‘no plausible explanation other than that the Russian state was responsible’. 

They then agreed on the importance of sending a strong message to Russia over the attack. 

They also discussed the Iran nuclear deal, reaffirming their commitment and agreeing to discuss it again in April.    

Mrs May earlier warned EU leaders that Russia posed a threat to the whole bloc as she sought united backing against Moscow after the poisoning.

She told her colleagues at the summit the attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the city of Salisbury showed the Russian menace ‘doesn’t respect borders’.

Her warning came as a British police officer who was also contaminated in the March 4 attack was released from hospital.

A judge has given doctors the go-ahead to take blood samples from Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia for testing by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

A judge has given doctors the go-ahead to take blood samples from Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia for testing by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

Investigators in breathing apparatus were seen in Mr Skripal's back garden today

Investigators in breathing apparatus were seen in Mr Skripal’s back garden today

The military and anti-terror experts are scouring the property for traces of the nerve agent

The military and anti-terror experts are scouring the property for traces of the nerve agent

The military and anti-terror experts are scouring the property for traces of the nerve agent

While the US, France and Germany have swung behind London, saying they accept the UK assessment that the Russian state is the only plausible culprit, other EU countries keen to protect their Kremlin ties – notably Greece and Italy – want a softer line.

‘It is clear that the Russian threat doesn’t respect borders and indeed the incident in Salisbury was part of a pattern of Russian aggression against Europe and its near neighbours,’ Mrs May told reporters as she arrived in Brussels.

She is expected to tell them over dinner that the threat from the east will continue ‘for years to come’, and long after Britain leaves the bloc in 2019.   



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk