Britain to raise Russian spy poisoning case with Nato

ANI | Updated: Mar 11, 2018 15:37 IST

England [UK], Mar 11 (ANI): Britain will raise the issue of suspected nerve agent attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal with its Nato allies, a Defence Minister in the UK government has said.

With military chemical weapons experts investigating the attack and Home Secretary Amber Rudd chairing an emergency Cobra meeting on Saturday, Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood said the government intended to discuss the case at Nato level.

Skripal, 66, and his 33-year-old daughter remain seriously ill in hospital after investigators probing the case said the two might have been poisoned in their home.

Russia has denied involvement in the attack and accused British politicians of engaging in "pure propaganda".

Rudd revealed the investigation in the case has now become a massive operation involving more than 250 counter terrorism police officers.

"Some big questions arise, as to how do you stand up to a clandestine and sinister attack deliberately done to play havoc in our society?" Rudd said.

His comments echoed with Security Minister Ben Wallace mentioning Britain's "powerful allies" as he said the British government was ready to respond with "the full force of the UK's resources" once investigators had established who was behind the attack.

"There are lots of things that the United Kingdom can do," Wallace added. "It is a powerful country with a powerful economy, powerful allies, powerful military and powerful other capabilities - and we shall look at all those."

Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey, one of the first to come to their assistance when they collapsed on Sunday, is still in the hospital.

Bailey, however, in a statement said he was not a hero and had only been doing his job.

A senior British diplomat who had served in Moscow told The Independent: "Skripal was an MI6 agent who was highly successful and who passed on the identities of Russian spies, supposedly in return for money. So he had betrayed lots of his comrades, he had made lots of enemies. Maybe this was payback."

The double agent spent nearly ten years handing over secrets after MI6 first made contact with him when he was spying in Spain in July 1995.

Skripal was in December 2004 arrested by the Russians. He was jailed for treason in 2006 but freed in 2010, in the biggest spy swap since the Cold War. (ANI)