Sergei Skripal is a traitor, says Russian spy Anna Chapman

11 March, 2018, 03:07 | Author: Angel Logan
  • Whitehall sources say it may be only a matter of days before detectives are able to confirm whether there is a Russian link to the attempted assassination of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia

Around 180 troops, including Royal Marines, RAF Regiment troops and chemical warfare specialists, are understood to have been deployed after Scotland Yard requested specialist help to remove vehicles and objects from scenes scattered across the city amid contamination fears.

It later emerged that they had been poisoned by a nerve agent sparking a large-scale investigation that has widened to include a number of sites around the centre of the city, a auto belonging to Skripal, and the graves of his wife and son, Alexandr.

Almost a week has passed since father and daughter were found unconscious on a public bench in Salisbury in southern England last Sunday.

A Met spokesman said: "The public should not be alarmed and the public health advice remains the same".

Amber Rudd is set to chair an emergency meeting over the poisoning of Sergei Skripal in Downing Street.

TRT World's Sarah Morice has more.

Sergei Skripal, a former Russian spy, and his daughter Yulia, are still in critical conditions in hospital after they came into contact with a toxic substance in Wiltshire last Sunday.

Detective Sgt. Nick Bailey, who has been hospitalized since helping the Skripals, released a statement Saturday saying he was "merely doing his job" and does not consider himself a hero.

Also being investigated are the bench where the couple were found, Mr Skripal's home, the Mill pub - visited by the Skripals - and the cemetery where Mr Skripal's wife and son are buried.

Skripal's daughter is thought to be one of the few members of his immediate family still alive after his wife, Lyudmila, and son Alexander died in recent years.

She said: "The use of a nerve agent on United Kingdom soil is a brazen and reckless act".

Authorities are racing to find the source of the nerve agent used against 66-year-old Skripal, who came to Britain in 2010 as part of a spy swap, as politicians warned it bore the hallmarks of an attack by Russian Federation.

He had been convicted in his home country in 2006 for passing state secrets to MI6.

He was pardoned in 2010 before being flown to Britain.

If a Moscow link was proved, it would plunge relations between the West and Russian Federation to a new low, and would call into question the British government's ability to protect United Kingdom residents at home.

Possible responses include the expulsion of some of Russia's 58 diplomats, some kind of boycott of the 2018 football World Cup or an increased British military presence in eastern Europe.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has described the events in Salisbury as "very troubling".

On Friday, Russian Foreign Ministry Sergey Lavrov said Russia was ready to assist "any investigation" but that it was "not necessary to hurl unfounded accusations on TV".

Identifying the source of the nerve agent continues to be central to the probe but so far, Rudd has refused to name any potential culprits.

Bob Seely, a Conservative lawmaker and member of the foreign affairs select committee, said the United Kingdom should be cautious about apportioning blame but said circumstantial evidence did raise suspicions of Russian involvement.


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