The European Union has demanded that the Russian government hand over for scrutiny all information about the nerve agent that allegedly poisoned a former spy on British soil.
At a meeting in Brussels on Monday the EU’s 28 foreign ministers condemned the “reckless and illegal” poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal and said information about the Novichok nerve agent should be handed over to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons investigation.
The UK says the Russian-developed nerve agent was responsible for the attempted killings and that all signs point to Vladimir Putin’s government being behind the incident in Salisbury on 4 March this year. Russia says the allegations are “slanderous, groundless, and difficult to explain”, with a spokesperson adding that the UK would have to provide evidence or apologise.
EU foreign ministers’ joint statement stopped short of directly blaming Russia in the way the UK government has, however, only stating that the “European Union takes extremely seriously the UK Government’s assessment that it is highly likely that the Russian Federation is responsible”.