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UK's assessment of 2018 Salisbury attack unchanged

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab also urges Russia to investigate last year's alleged Novichok attack on Alexey Navalny

Ahmet Gurhan Kartal   | 04.03.2021
UK's assessment of 2018 Salisbury attack unchanged

LONDON

Britain on Thursday said their assessment that the Russian government was behind the 2018 Salisbury attack on an ex-spy and his daughter has not changed.

“3 years on from the Salisbury attack, which caused the death of Dawn Sturgess & injuries to 4 others, our assessment has not changed,” Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab wrote on Twitter.

“The Russian government bears responsibility for this attack. Our thoughts are with all those affected and the people of Salisbury.”

Raab also criticized last year’s alleged “chemical attack” on Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny, adding that “these attacks are unacceptable.”

“We urge Russia to investigate, adhere to its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and declare its Novichok programme to the @OPCW.”

Raab’s remarks came on the third anniversary of the chemical attack in Salisbury, southern England, which the UK says was carried out by Russian agents.

British security agency MI5 meanwhile warned that the Russian state continues to take “quite an active interest” in some individuals in the UK.

The disclosure came in a Sky News interview with two unnamed senior agency officers.

According to the report, MI5 believes Russia is eager to rebuild its spying capabilities in the UK, as 23 of their agents were expelled from the embassy following the Salisbury attack.

Parliament’s Russia report last year accused the intelligence services of taking “the eye of the ball” on the threat posed by the Kremlin.

On March 4, 2018, former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were admitted to a hospital after being found unconscious in Salisbury.

After weeks in the hospital, they were discharged and later reportedly lived in an MI6 safe house.

Salisbury resident Dawn Sturgess, 44, died that July, after handling a perfume bottle the Skripals apparently came into contact with.

Sergei Skripal was granted refuge in the UK following a 2010 spy exchange between the US and Russia. Before the exchange, he had been serving a 13-year prison term for leaking information to British intelligence.

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