The United Kingdom announced plans to retaliate against Russia today after a Russian nerve agent was used to attack a spy and his daughter in Britain.
British Prime Minister Theresa May announced punitive measures against Russia over the chemical weapon attack on Russian former double agent Sergei Skripal, 66 and his daughter, Yulia, 33 in Salisbury, England. The attack took place on March 4 as part of an assassination attempt.
“We will not tolerate such a brazen attempt to murder innocent citizens on our soil,” said Prime Minister May, giving Russia one day to explain how poison developed by Moscow decades ago ended up in a restaurant targeting the former spy.
The powerful poison is a novichok chemical nerve agent that takes only 30 seconds to begin poisoning the body. Skripal, his daughter, and the police detective that found them comatosed on a park bench are all in critical condition. Russia said that they do not respond to ultimatums and chose to offer no credible explanation for the presence of novichok.
“Their response has demonstrated complete disdain for the gravity of these events. There is no alternative conclusion other than the Russian state was responsible for the attempted murder of Mr. Skripal and his daughter,” said Prime Minister May.
Prime Minister May plans to expel 23 Russian diplomats as a result and freeze Russian state assets wherever they have evidence that they could be used to threaten the life or property of UK nationals or residents. She also revoked an invitation to the FIFA World Cup help in Russia this summer.
Donald Trump pledged solidarity with Britain over the Salisbury spy poisoning and offered any assistance he could to the UK government. A White House source told The Daily Telegraph the offer of investigative help was the first in a series of US moves expected in the coming weeks.
Over the past day, five U.S. listed Russian ETFs are all down as of 12 p.m. Eastern time according to Yahoo Finance charts.