White House says Russia responsible for poison attack on former double agent

WASHINGTON, March 16 (Xinhua) — The White House said on Wednesday that the
United States believed that Russia was responsible for the high-profile
poison attack against a former Russian spy and his daughter in Britain.

In a statement, the White House said that “the United States shares the
United Kingdom’s assessment that Russia is responsible for the reckless
nerve agent attack on a British citizen and his daughter.”   It added that
Washington supports London’s decision to expel Russian diplomats as a
“just” response.  “The United States stands in solidarity with its closest
ally, the United Kingdom,” and “is working together with our allies and
partners to ensure that this kind of abhorrent attack does not happen
again,” said the White House.  Earlier on Wednesday, British Prime Minister
Theresa May announced that her government would expel 23 Russian diplomats
and told them to leave within a week. She added that all high-level
bilateral contacts with Russia will be canceled, and no members of the
British royal family or government ministers will attend the World Cup to
be hosted by Russia.

In response, the Russian government denied any involvement in the attack,
and threatened reprisals against Britain if measures are taken by the
British government.  Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vasily
Nebenzya said on the same day that Britain’s allegations were “completely
unacceptable” and “unjustified.”  “We demand that material proof be
provided of the allegedly found Russian trace in this high-resonance event.
Without this, stating that there is incontrovertible truth is not something
that we can take into account,” he added.  Former Russian double agent
Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, are in a critical condition
in hospital after being exposed to a nerve agent earlier this month.