Tillerson lambasts Russia over UK nerve agent attack

ANI | Updated: Mar 13, 2018 15:28 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar 13 (ANI): United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Monday criticised Russia, regarding a nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in the United Kingdom last week.

In a harsh condemnation to Moscow, Tillerson said, "From Ukraine to Syria, and now the UK, Russia continues to be an irresponsible force of instability in the world, acting with open disregard for the sovereignty of other states and the life of their citizens."

The US Secretary of State felt optimistic about the investigation by the UK and its assessment that Russia was "likely responsible" for the nerve agent attack.

"We agree that those responsible and both those who committed the crime and those who ordered it must face appropriately serious consequences. We stand in solidarity with our allies in the UK and will continue to coordinate closely our responses," Tillerson added.

Earlier on Monday, British Prime Minister Theresa May said that Russia was "highly likely" responsible for the attack.

Retired military intelligence officer Skripal, 66, and his daughter, Yulia, 33, were found slumped on a bench in Salisbury city centre on March 4. However, they remain in a critical but stable condition in hospital.

The White House noted that the use of a highly lethal nerve agent against Skripal and his daughter "was an outrage."

Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday underscored that Washington D.C. had been keeping a tab on the incident in the UK very closely, adding that the attack was "reckless, indiscriminate and irresponsible."

According to the reports, Skripal was convicted by the Russian government of passing secrets to UK's Secret Intelligence Service MI6 in 2004, but was given refuge in the UK in 2010 as part of a "spy swap." (ANI)