Salisbury nerve agent attack: How might Britain respond?

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British authorities say they have enough evidence to charge two Russian men over the nerve-agent poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in the English city of Salisbury.

On March 4, former GRU Colonel Sergei Skripal, convicted in Russian Federation of spying for Britain, and his daughter Yulia, were affected by a nerve gas of the Novichok class in Salisbury.

The council will meet in open session at around 11:30 am (1530 GMT), diplomats said.

On Wednesday British Prime Minister Theresa May said two Russian spies identified as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov carried out the nerve agent attack.

The CPS said the pair faced charges of conspiracy to murder Skripal, and the attempted murder of him, his daughter and Nick Bailey, a policeman injured in the attack.

In a statement that will deepen the diplomatic crisis between the two countries, the Prime Minister said: "The GRU is a highly-disciplined organisation with a well-established chain of command".

Police say the men travelled on Russian passports bearing the names Petrov and Boshirov, but that these are nearly certainly aliases.

The U.S., Canada, France and Germany are in full agreement with the U.K.'s assessment that the Salisbury Novichok attack was "almost certainly approved at a senior government level" in Russian Federation, a joint statement said on Thursday.

Russian Federation has long denied any involvement in the attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury and insisted it is ready to cooperate on any investigation.

That's some distance from Mr Corbyn's very first reaction to the attacks back in March when he appeared to share his doubts about intelligence-led political statements.

United Kingdom intelligence chiefs blamed Russian Federation for the attack, but Moscow denies all responsibility.

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Looking at the seriousness in the matter, May has thus called an emergency session of the United Nations Security Council on Thursday and will ask world leaders to back Britain's stand against Russian Federation.

They spent weeks critically ill in hospital but have since been discharged.

Assistant police commissioner Neil Basu would not say whether police believe the suspects worked for Russian security services but, he said, "This was a sophisticated attack across borders".

The Kremlin rejected the claims that Mr Putin was responsible and said that it was not going to investigate the suspects.

She is expected to speak to other leaders over the next few days as she seeks to forge an worldwide alliance for further action against Russian Federation.

While the motive for the attack on Skripal, who was exchanged in a Kremlin-approved spy swap in 2010, remains unclear, some analysts point to its function as a deterrent for Russian operatives who may have been thinking about colluding with foreign intelligence against Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Officers have formally linked the attack on the Skripals to events in nearby Amesbury when Dawn Sturgess, 44, and her partner Charlie Rowley, 45, were exposed to the same nerve agent.

A European arrest warrant has been issued for the two Russians, British prosecutors said, but Britain will not ask Moscow to extradite them because Russia's constitution does not allow its citizens to be extradited. Police say the men flew from Moscow to London two days before the Skripals were poisoned on Russian passports but that it believes that the names were aliases.

Dawn Sturgess, who died in July.

On March 4, the day of the alleged hit, the men again traveled to Salisbury, with CCTV capturing them walking side by side along a road not far from Skripal's house.

President Putin's foreign policy adviser, Yuri Ushakov, told reporters in Moscow that the names of the suspects "do not mean anything to me".

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