UK PM Theresa May calls out Russia for nerve gas attack, promises a response

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C.M.O. Images / Flickr Theresa May...
C.M.O. Images / Flickr

On Monday, British Prime Minister Theresa May spoke before Parliament on the attack that left at least two people in the UK hospitalized from exposure to a toxin. May left no doubt that she was taking this extremely seriously:

It is now clear that Mr Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia. This is part of a group of nerve agents known as ‘Novichok’. …

This action has happened against a backdrop of a well-established pattern of Russian State aggression.Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea was the first time since the Second World War that one sovereign nation has forcibly taken territory from another in Europe. …

There are therefore only two plausible explanations for what happened in Salisbury on the 4th of March. Either this was a direct act by the Russian State against our country. Or the Russian government lost control of this potentially catastrophically damaging nerve agent and allowed it to get into the hands of others.

May has given the Russians until Tuesday to provide a full explanation of what happened—and she’s not holding back on the idea that there will be consequences.

On Wednesday we will consider in detail the response from the Russian State. Should there be no credible response, we will conclude that this action amounts to an unlawful use of force by the Russian State against the United Kingdom. And I will come back to this House and set out the full range of measures that we will take in response. …

This attempted murder using a weapons-grade nerve agent in a British town … we will not tolerate such a brazen attempt to murder innocent civilians on our soil.

This was an attack using what is, by international definition, a weapon of mass destruction, carried out by the Russian state on UK soil. On NATO soil. May seems determined to respond.

But is this enough to move Donald Trump, or will he continue to praise Vladimir Putin and support Russian actions?


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