Russia refused to comply with the ultimatum given by UK Prime Minister Theresa May demanding that Moscow provide answers about the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, who remain in critical condition. Russia’s Foreign Ministry said the UK should be cautious about threatening a nuclear power.
Putin Photo Credit: Screenshot
UK Prime Minister Theresa May demanded that Russia provide explanations for the use of a nerve-agent against former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter. Now, Moscow clarified that it would not respond to the ultimatum as the Tuesday deadline came and passed.
“Moscow will not respond to London’s ultimatum until it receives samples of the chemical substance,” Russia’s embassy in London said in a statement. “Any threat to take punitive measures against Russia will meet with a response.”
Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova on Tuesday warned the UK against giving Moscow ultimatums, pointing out that London should not threaten a nuclear power. Zakharova referred to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s controversial speech earlier this month, during which he boasted of his country’s new arsenal of sophisticated weapons.
US President Donald Trump backed May’s demands, according to a White House statement. During a phone call between the two leaders on Tuesday, the two agreed that Russia must provide “unambiguous answers” on the affair. Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump said he thought it was likely Moscow was responsible for the incident. “It sounds to me like it would be Russia based on all the evidence they have,” Trump said. “It sounds to me like they believe it was Russia, and I would certainly take that finding as fact.”
Russia has repeatedly dismissed the allegations that it was involved in the poisoning, which left the two victims fighting for their lives. As previously reported by JOL, the substance used against the ex-Russian spy and his daughter last week was identified as Novichok, a sophisticated Soviet-made nerve agent.
6/7 Any threat to take “punitive” measures against Russia will meet with a response. The British side should be aware of that. pic.twitter.com/DFAaB5orQE
— Russian Embassy, UK (@RussianEmbassy) March 13, 2018
“This attempted murder, using a weapons-grade nerve agent in a British town, was not just a crime against the Skripals. It was an indiscriminate and reckless act against the United Kingdom, putting the lives of innocent civilians at risk,” May said. “We will not tolerate such a brazen attempt to murder innocent civilians on our soil.”