Spy chief says Britain, allies will counter active Russian threat

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Two Russian nationals have been named over the novichok poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury, Wiltshire.

Britain on September 5, filed charges in absentia against the two men identified as Aleksandr Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, although it is suspected the names are aliases.

British officials announced Wednesday that they have charged two alleged Russian military intelligence agents with the nerve agent poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the English city of Salisbury - though they held out little hope of being able to bring them to justice.

In response to the incident, London in March expelled 23 Russian diplomats believed to be intelligence agents.

Security Minister Ben Wallace said Putin bore ultimate responsibility for the poisoning.

Britain has previously accused Russian Federation of orchestrating the attack, but Moscow denies any involvement and insists it is ready to cooperate on an investigation. Britain has issued domestic and European arrest warrants for the suspects, meaning they can be detained if they leave Russian Federation for another European country.

It is led, linked to both the senior members of the Russian general staff and the defence minister and, through that, to the Kremlin and the president's office.

May said the attack was approved "at a senior level of the Russian state", and vowed Britain would "deploy the full range of tools from across our national security apparatus in order to counter the threat posed by the GRU".

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Among the glaring oddities in the new account is that the two photos released of "Petrov" and "Boshirov" shows them both in what appears to be the same space at Gatwick airport at precisely the same second (16:22:43 on March 2, 2018.) Raising the physically impossibility, Murray suggests the CCTV images may have been doctored.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley said everyone should be "chilled to the bone" with the findings.

"We have, however, obtained a European Arrest Warrant which means that if either man travels to a country where an EAW is valid, they will be arrested and face extradition on these charges for which there is no statute of limitations".

Her partner Charlie Rowley had found a perfume bottle, falsely labelled as "Premier Jour" by Nina Ricci, which police said contained a "significant amount of Novichok". On Saturday they went to Salisbury, where Skripal had been living since being released in a prisoner swap between Britain and Russian Federation in 2010. Police released images and CCTV of the pair who, they said, spent a total of three days in the United Kingdom.

Police say the two men took a flight back to Moscow from Heathrow Airport on the evening of March 4, hours after the Skripals were found collapsed on a park bench in Salisbury. The UK must provide fingerprints of the suspects in the Skripal case to Interpol, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stated on Wednesday on the Rossiya-1 channel. British government officials maintain that the GRU's operations include assassinations both inside Russian Federation and overseas. "If they had used European Union passports-say from Lithuania or Estonia for example-they wouldn't have needed a visa, thanks to European Union freedom of movement agreements, and could still have spoken Russian without raising suspicion".

"We also note the UK's analysis, independently verified by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), that the exact same chemical nerve agent was used in the poisoning of Dawn Sturgess and Charles Rowley as was used in the poisoning of the Skripals".

Wiltshire local woman Dawn Sturgess died after inadvertently spraying herself with the Novichok virus which was inside a discarded perfume bottle.

"Russian recklessness is appalling and irresponsible... we MUST uphold the global ban on chemical weapons", U.K. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said on Twitter on Tuesday.

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