France backs UK, says Russia behind spy poisoning

'No other plausible explanation' than Russia being involved in attack, says French President Emmanuel Macron

France backs UK, says Russia behind spy poisoning

World Bulletin / News Desk

French President Emmanuel Macron Thursday has expressed his solidarity with Britain after the chemical poisoning of a former Russian spy on British soil.

According to a French presidency statement, Macron shares Britain's views that there is "no other plausible explanation" than Russia being involved in the attack, following a phone call with British Prime Minister Theresa May.

"Since the beginning of the week, the United Kingdom has kept France closely informed of the evidence gathered by British investigators and evidence of Russia's responsibility in the attack," read the statement. 

"France agrees with the United Kingdom that there is no other plausible explanation and reiterates its solidarity with its ally."

Both leaders condemned the use of a chemical weapon and agreed on the importance of the unity of European countries and NATO members on this issue, the statement said.

Macron and May "have agreed on the importance of European and transatlantic unity in the response to this event. They will stay in close contact over the next few days."

Sergei Skripal and his daughter were found unconscious on a public bench on March 4 after visiting a restaurant and a pub in the south of England. More than 20 people, including a police officer, were taken to hospital.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said Thursday the evidence showing that Russia was behind the nerve agent attack in Salisbury was "overwhelming".

Russia has repeatedly denied any involvement in the incident.

Skripal was granted refuge in the U.K. following a 2010 spy exchange between the U.S. and Russia. Before the exchange, he was serving 13 years in prison for leaking information to British intelligence.

The incident has been compared to the 2006 death of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko after being poisoned with a radioactive substance in a central London hotel. Former KGB bodyguards identified as suspects in the murder denied any involvement.

 
Last Mod: 15 Mart 2018, 13:50
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