Rolling coverage of political developments, including the US president saying he will discuss Salisbury spy poisoning case with Theresa May
The deputy prime minister of Ireland, Simon Coveney, has expressed his country’s solidarity with the UK in identifying the perpetrator(s) of the attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. He said:
Ireland condemns this cowardly attack which has taken place on our neighbour’s soil. The use of chemical weapons, including the use of any toxic weapons, is unacceptable and abhorrent.
The incident in Salisbury represents a disturbing violation of international law and goes against norms which have long been established. We join many states in supporting the UK’s efforts to ensure a thorough investigation so that the perpetrators of this crime can be held accountable.
Russia’s ambassador to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), has accused the UK government of making “unfounded accusations” and “pumping hysteria” over the Salisbury poisoning.
In a letter to the OPCW following Theresa May’s statement that Russia has until midnight to explain how the Skripals were poisoned, Alexander Shulgin said:
We remind our English colleagues that Russia and the United Kingdom are members of the OPCW … We call upon them to abandon the language of ultimatums and threats and return to the legal field of the chemical convention, which allows us to resolve this kind of situation.
We would also like to emphasise that such explanations under the chemical weapons convention are provided to the requesting state party as soon as possible, but in any case no later than ten days after the request is received. In this regard, the ultimatum demands to provide information immediately are absolutely unacceptable.
We urge our British colleagues to save propaganda fervour and slogans for an unenlightened domestic audience.