Britain has concluded that the two men charged on Wednesday for the attempted murder of a former Russian spy and his daughter with the novichok nerve agent were Russian military intelligence officers almost certainly acting with senior-level state approval.
“Based on the body of intelligence, the government has concluded that the two individuals named by the police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) are officers from the Russian military intelligence service also known as the GRU,” UK Prime Minister Theresa May told parliament on Wednesday.
May also warned that Moscow should account for the reckless and outrageous actions of the GRU and the UK will deploy a full range of tools with its allies to counter the threat.
Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, has urged the UK to hand over the data on the Russian citizens’ “involvement in the Skripal case”, saying the claim by the UK “required scrupulous analysis of data and close cooperation.”
The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office also said it’s determined to cooperate with UK law enforcement agencies on the case.
Following the UK’s announcement, the US Ambassador to Britain, Woody Johnson, said on Twitter that “The US and UK stand firmly together in holding Russia accountable for its act of aggression on UK soil.”