May seeks EU backing against Russia on spy attack

May told her colleagues at a Brussels summit the attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the English city of Salisbury using a deadly Soviet-developed nerve agent showed the Russian threat "doesn't respect borders".

May seeks EU backing against Russia on spy attack

World Bulletin / News Desk

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday warned EU leaders that Russia posed a threat to the whole bloc as she sought united backing against Moscow after the poisoning of an ex-spy in England.

While the US, France and Germany have swung behind London, saying they accept the UK assessment that the Russian state is the only plausible culprit, other EU countries keen to protect their Kremlin ties -- notably Greece and Italy -- want a softer line.

"It is clear that the Russian threat doesn't respect borders and indeed the incident in Salisbury was part of a pattern of Russian aggression against Europe and its near neighbours," May told reporters as she arrived in Brussels.

She is expected to tell them over dinner that the threat from the east will continue "for years to come", and long after Britain leaves the bloc in 2019.

The British leader will hold crisis talks on the poisoning with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel before briefing all the EU leaders on the investigation.

The poisoning has triggered a furious diplomatic row between London and Moscow, with tit-for-tat expulsions of diplomats on both sides, while the Kremlin denies any responsibility and Russian state media have offered numerous alternative explanations.

British officials have been pressing European allies to follow London's lead with their own expulsions of Russian diplomats, and Lithuania's outspoken President Dalia Grybauskaite said she was giving serious thought to the matter.

"We support the measures UK is applying and all of us we are considering such measures," Grybauskaite said as she arrived for the summit.

EU President Donald Tusk said on the eve of the summit that leaders will show "solidarity" with Britain after Salisbury and called the bloc to take practical steps to "reinforce our preparedness for future attacks".

Güncelleme Tarihi: 22 Mart 2018, 18:28