December 15, 2018
Latest News
European Union

UK points finger at Russia for ex-spy's poisoning

London, Mar 12 (efe-epa).- UK Prime Minister Theresa May told Parliament on Monday that it was "highly likely" Russia was behind the poisoning of a Russian former spy and his daughter on British soil.

The Russian government, which has denied any involvement in the incident, responded by dismissing May's speech to lawmakers as a "circus show."

Sergei Skripal, 66, and daughter Yulia, 33, are in critical but stable condition after being found March 4 unconscious on a park bench in Salisbury, England. The police officer who discovered them also remains hospitalized.

British authorities have determined the Skripals were poisoned by a military-grade nerve agent of a type known as "novichok" that the Russian government is known to have produced in the past, the prime minister said in the House of Commons.

Moscow "would still be capable" of producing the substance used in the attack, she said.

The government's conclusion drew on the findings of the Defense, Science and Technology Laboratory in Porton Down, some 13 km (8 mi) from Salisbury, which conserves nerve agents such as Sarin and VX "to help develop effective medical countermeasures and to test systems."

"Russia's record of conducting state sponsored assassinations and our assessment that Russia views some defectors as legitimate targets for assassination, the government has concluded that it is highly likely that Russia was responsible for the act against Sergei and Yulia Skripal," May said.

Skripal is a former Russian military intelligence officer who was convicted in 2004 of treason against Russia for spying on behalf of the United Kingdom's MI6 foreign intelligence agency.

He spent years behind bars in Russia before being released and exiled in 2010 as a part of a swap for Russian spies held in the UK and the United States.

"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 to get it into the hands of others," the Conservative prime minister said.

May said she would give the Russian government until Wednesday to provide an explanation.

"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," she said, adding that London was prepared to take "much more extensive measures" against Russia than previously.

Moscow's initial response to the accusation came within hours.

"It is a circus show in the British Parliament," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said. "The conclusion is obvious: It's another political information campaign, based on a provocation."

The deputy chair of the international relations committee of the Russian Senate said the allegations were aimed at his country's upcoming presidential election or even the 2018 World Cup soccer tournament, set to begin in Russia in June.

"I think this a provocation on the eve of the elections and the World Cup," Vladimir Dzhabarov said. "Why eliminate Skripal? If he was such a valuable agent, he wouldn't have been swapped."

News history
Young people lead global climate strike, demand immediate action

Katowice (Poland), Dec 14 (efe-epa).- Young people on Friday participated in a global Climate Strike rallied by a 15-year-old Swedish girl who has shot to...

UK's May says further Brexit discussions with EU still possible

Brussels, Dec 14 (efe-epa).- The United Kingdom's prime minister on Friday said it was still possible to get further clarification on the Brexit deal in a...

Former UK PM urges gov't, EU to prepare for second referendum possibility

London, Dec 14 (efe-epa).- A former prime minister of the United Kingdom on Friday called on the British government and the European Union to prepare for...

UK's Labour urges PM May to bring Brexit vote to parliament before Christmas

London, Dec 14 (efe-epa).- The United Kingdom's main opposition on Friday called on the country's prime minister to put her Brexit plan to a parliamentary...

UK May doubtful of immediate breakthrough on Irish backstop in Brexit plan

Brussels, Dec 13 (efe-epa).- The British prime minister said she did not expect to find an immediate solution on the Irish backstop in her Brexit deal...

EU leaders gather for Brexit summit as May seeks concessions

Brussels, Dec 13 (efe-epa).- Leaders from the European Union's 28 member states gathered in Brussels Thursday for a European Council summit where they were...

Dutch gov't face appeal by feminist groups over access to morning after pill

The Hague, Dec 13 (efe-epa).- Women's rights advocacy groups on Thursday launched an appeal against the Dutch government in a bid to make it easier for...

EU, Italy working constructively on Italian budget, still needs adjustments

Paris, Dec 13 (efe-epa).- The European economics commissioner on Thursday said the European Union and Italy were working constructively but the new Italian...

European banks' shares up after Italy budget revision

Madrid, Dec 13 (efe-epa).- European banking shares gained after Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte presented a revised budget to avoid punitive measures...

British Prime Minister Theresa May wins Confidence Vote

London, Dec 13 (efe-epa).- The British prime minister was on Thursday to plow on with her Brexit plan after surviving a motion of no confidence lodged...

Metro earnings rose in FY18 though sales edged lower

Madrid, Dec. 13 (efe-epa).- Metro said Thursday that its profit rose in the 2018 fiscal year despite a slight drop in overall sales, which were hit by...

Shanghai Stock Exchange close 1.23 percent up

Shanghai, China, Dec 13 (efe-epa).- The Shanghai Stock Exchange on Thursday gained 31.9 points, or 1.23 percent, to end at 2,634.05.

Head of EU parliament: France shooting was an attack on peace, democracy

Strasbourg (France), Dec 12 (efe-epa).- The president of the European Parliament on Wednesday condemned the attack on a Christmas market in the eastern...

Spanish PM rules out renegotiation over Brexit deal, Gibraltar

Madrid, Dec 12 (EFE).- The Spanish prime minister on Wednesday ruled out any room for renegotiating the terms of United Kingdom's draft plan for leaving the...

EU approves Thales's takeover of Gemalto with conditions

Brussels, Dec 11 (efe-epa).- European Union antitrust authorities on Tuesday conditionally approved French aerospace-and-defense group Thales' proposed 4.8...

Luxembourg mulls free public transport initiative for 2020

Luxembourg, Dec 11 (efe-epa).- Luxembourg is committed to becoming the world's first nation to provide free public transportation for all, as documented by...

EU lawmakers back limits to carcinogens, diesel fumes in workspace

Brussels, Dec 11 (efe-epa).- European lawmakers on Tuesday backed a policy that would see workers protected from carcinogens, including diesel fumes, by...

UK PM May to put Brexit deal to parliamentary vote before Jan. 21

London, Dec 11 (efe-epa).- The United Kingdom's prime minister is to put her Brexit deal to a vote in the lower house of Parliament before Jan. 21, a...

Scotland first minister heaps pressure on UK Labour to oust May government

Edinburgh (United Kingdom), Dec 11 (efe-epa).- Scotland's first minister and leader of the anti-Brexit and pro-independence Scottish National Party on...

Across Europe, a political landscape defined by deep divisions

Madrid, Dec 11 (efe-epa).- The United Kingdom government's pratfalls over Brexit show one thing still unites London with the continent: the growing...

EU Court rejects German challenge to ECB's bond-buying program

Madrid, Dec 11 (efe-epa).- The European Union's top court rejected a German legal challenge to the European Central Bank's giant bond-buying program on...

British PM meets Dutch counterpart in a bid to save draft Brexit deal

The Hague, Dec 11 (efe-epa).- The British prime minister met with her Dutch counterpart Tuesday as part of a series of impromptu meetings with European...

EU's Juncker: no renegotiation on Brexit, clarification can be offered

Strasbourg (France), Dec 11 (efe-epa).- The withdrawal deal on Brexit is final and will not be renegotiated but further clarification can be offered to the...

UK's main industry group slams Brexit vote delay, warns of national crisis

London, Dec 10 (efe-epa).- The United Kingdom's biggest business organization on Monday harshly criticized the government's decision to postpone a crucial...

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.