Ok, now I’m willing to believe that Russians did it.
Former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned by a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia, Theresa May has told MPs.
The PM said the government concluded it was “highly likely” Russia was responsible for the Salisbury attack[…]
The chemical used in the attack, the PM said, has been identified as being part of a group of nerve agents known as Novichok.
Mrs May said Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson had told the ambassador Moscow must provide “full and complete disclosure” of the Novichok programme to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons by the end of Tuesday.
You always have to beware disinformation and propaganda when Russians are the subject, but this is a blatant accusation, by the Prime Minister, in Parliament. That’s different. If she made a false accusation, knowingly or not, that’s a very serious business, and I don’t think that May is made of that stuff. Her instinct is to soothe feathers, not ruffle them. She must be 100 per cent certain of her facts.
Let’s be clear: the Prime Minister has effectively accused the Russian government of chemical warfare on NATO soil. She cannot now back down if Moscow bluffs it out. It could be that Moscow has lost control of operatives and nerve agent, but pride and ego won’t allow them to admit it if so.
What to do about it is the question, and there’s much that can be done short of military action, which would be stupid. Diplomatically, this level of accusation demands the closure of the Russian Embassy in London and the expulsion of all staff. There’s a lot of dirty Russian money in London and the Home Counties. The Treasury and Bank of England can be tasked with giving its owners a very bad time. Western intel agencies are already meddling in the Russian general election. That can be intensified.
This has the potential to become very messy, but the Prime Minister has made an extremely serious accusation. It has to be backed up.