United Kingdom says it is too early to pin blame in Skripal poisoning
Mar 11, 2018, 01:22
The military have been providing support since Friday and Rudd said the police would continue to be given all the resources they needed to conduct the investigation.
The Metropolitan Police force said troops were called in because "they have the necessary capability and expertise" to help investigators scrambling to trace the nerve agent that left former spySergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in critical condition.
Police officer Nick Bailey, who first discovered and treated the pair at the scene, is also in serious condition.
Britain will respond appropriately if evidence shows Moscow was behind a nerve agent attack on a former Russianspy and his daughter in England, Prime Minister Theresa May said on Thursday.
They remain in hospital in a "very serious" condition five days on.
Around 180 military personnel have been drafted into Salisbury, removing objects and vehicles, including ambulances that may have been contaminated.
The man is believed to be Sergei Skripal, 66, who was granted refuge in the United Kingdom following a "spy swap" between the U.S. and Russian Federation in 2010.
Mrs Rudd had earlier visited Salisbury and the hospital where DS Bailey is receiving treatment. He was sentenced to 13 years in prison in 2006, and in 2010 was given refuge in Britain after being exchanged for Russianspies.
Earlier Friday, members of the armed forces removed a police auto used in the initial response from Salisbury district hospital.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow was "ready to consider" lending a hand, "whether it's poisoning of some British subjects, whether it's rumours about interference in the US election campaign".
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"You can not tolerate a government assassination on British soil - it is absolutely beyond the pale and needs a reaction", he said.
"Alcoholism, drug addiction, stress and depression are inevitable professional illnesses of a traitor resulting in heart attacks and even suicide", Kleimenov said.
British media reported that he died while in St Petersburg, Russia.
The U.K. has vowed to take strong action against whoever is responsible for the "brazen and reckless" attack. Officers were guarding the area where he and his daughter were found, along with a pizza restaurant and a pub they had visited.
Skripal was a former colonel in Russian military intelligence who was jailed in his country for betraying agents to Britain's MI6 secret service. The suggestion is now Mr Skripal and his daughter were poisoned at home.
He was pardoned before being flown to Britain as part of a high-profile spy swap involving Russian Federation and the United States in 2010.
Salisbury's MP, John Glen, and Wiltshire Police's Chief Constable Kier Preitchard have both spoken on this issue. however neither were able to give any clear indication on how long the 'heightened' state of security will last.
A British public inquiry said Litvinenko's murder had probably been approved by Putin and carried out by two Russians, Dmitry Kovtun and Andrei Lugovoy.
The Russian embassy in London told reporters it had not received substantive details about the case, which it said was "rather worrying". The conclusion was angrily dismissed by the Kremlin as a politically motivated smear. Commentators said police were exploring the theory that the former Russianspy and his daughter, who was reportedly visiting from Moscow, were exposed to the nerve agent at the house.
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