Russian Nerve Agent Hidden in Suitcase in Moscow — Claim

Russian Nerve Agent Hidden in Suitcase in Moscow — Claim

On Monday, Prime Minister Theresa May gave the Russian government until midnight Tuesday to formally answer questions - but the Russian Embassy in London tweeted earlier in the day that it would not respond to the "ultimatum" until it is provided samples of the Russian novichok nerve agent that UK investigators say was used.

Moscow has denied any responsibility for the attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

Johnson also said he had been heartened by strong expressions of support from the United States and other allies - although it remains unclear whether there will be a coordinated international response to the Novichok attack.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov slammed Johnson's remark in a comment to CNN.

Russia has repeatedly dismissed the UK's accusations as "unfounded" and warned it would retaliate over the expulsion of its diplomats. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons also says it expects action soon in response to the British investigation.

Although the available evidence points at Moscow, it is within the realm of possibility that a rogue actor and not the state acquired and deployed the nerve agent. None have shown any symptoms.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on Friday said the illegal deployment of chemical weapons had "global security ramifications".

An 83-year-old Russian whistleblower who helped develop Novichok told the AP on Friday that no other country could have used that particular nerve agent to poison a former spy.

Russia does present a threat through hybrid warfare, or the use of deniable acts of disruption - primarily cyber-attacks on the UK that could disrupt essential services or interference in the democratic process, such as in elections. He will meet NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg to discuss the situation, the alliance said in a statement.

Putin is predicted to win with around 70 percent of the vote despite a lacklustre campaign and his refusal to participate in televised debates.

Later, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert retweeted a video clip in which the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office said the attack "follows a well-established pattern of Russian state aggression".

The statement made no mention of Sergei Skripal.

In a rare joint statement, the leaders of Britain, France, Germany and the US on Thursday condemned the nerve agent attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia as an "assault on UK sovereignty".

Ryabkov said he doesn't want to definitively close the door to dialogue and accused the U.S. of threatening global stability.

Russia's foreign minister has suggested Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson "lacks education".

"We are expected to take everything on trust, and that is inadmissible", RIA quoted him as saying.

Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, former commander of the British Army's chemical and biological weapons regiment, called that Russian claim "complete hogwash". "The British side should be aware of that". But in 2010 he was given refuge in Britain after being exchanged for Russian spies.

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