United States, France, Germany, Canada endorse Novichok's findings in the United Kingdom

An undated combo handout photo made available by the British London Metropolitan Police (MPS) showing Alexander Petrov (R) and Ruslan Boshirov (L).

Leaders from Britain, the United States, France, Germany and Canada said they had "full confidence" that the suspects in the Novichok attack were officers of Russia's military intelligence service.

In a joint statement reiterating their "outrage," the leaders said they were completely confident that the attempted assassination of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal on British soil in March "was almost certainly approved at the governmental level" in Russia.

They also asked Moscow to open up with the organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on its Novichok program.

The leaders added that they would strengthen their activities to defend their societies against "malign state activity" and to interrupt the hostile actions of foreign intelligence networks.

We, the leaders of France, Germany, the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, reiterate our outrage at the use of a chemical neurotoxic agent, known as Novichok, in Salisbury on March 4, "they said in the statement, issued in London. .

UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, addresses a UN security meeting on alleged Russian chemical attack in Britain

AP

They welcomed the progress made in the investigation and the attempted murder charges brought against Russian suspects Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, announced by Britain on Wednesday.

They also noted the OPCW findings that "the same chemical nerve agent" was used in the fatal poisoning of Dawn Sturgess. She was Charlie Rowley's girlfriend, who had picked up a bottle of fake perfume that contained Novichok.

"We urge Russia to provide full disclosure of its Novichok program to the OPCW," they said.

"We have full confidence in the British assessment that the two suspects were officers of the Russian military intelligence service, also known as GRU, and that this operation almost certainly was approved at the senior government level."

They said that the mass expulsion of undeclared GRU officers in the Russian embassies following the Salisbury attack had disrupted the service's activities.

"Yesterday's announcement further strengthens our intention to continue to disrupt the hostile activities of foreign intelligence networks in our territories, maintain the ban on chemical weapons, protect our citizens and defend ourselves against any form of malign state activity directed against us. and our societies. "

A Downing Street spokesman said Prime Minister Theresa May spoke with US President Donald Trump on Tuesday, Canadian leader Justin Trudeau on Wednesday and French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday.

Great Britain points the finger at Putin

Britain pointed a finger at Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday over a nervous agent attack on a former Russian spy in England, an accusation that Moscow rejected as "unacceptable."

London accused two members of Russian military intelligence of using Novichok to try to kill former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in March.

Security Minister Ben Wallace said Putin was "ultimately" responsible for the poisoning in the city of Salisbury, in the south-west of the country, prompting an angry response from Moscow.

"For us, any kind of accusation regarding the Russian leadership is unacceptable," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

Britain has previously accused Russia of orchestrating the attack, but Moscow denies any involvement and insists that it is ready to cooperate in any investigation.

"Neither the top leadership of Russia nor those in the lower categories, nor any official representative have anything to do with the events in Salisbury," said Peskov.

London and its allies expelled dozens of Russian diplomats after the poisoning, prompting an eye-to-heart response from Moscow and plunging relations into a new low.

In an important new development, Prime Minister Theresa May announced on Wednesday that the police had issued international arrest warrants for the two suspects, identified as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.

He said they were members of Russian military intelligence and that they obeyed "high-level" orders, but Wallace went further when asked if Putin had responsibility.

"In the end he does it to the extent that he is the president of the Russian Federation and it is his government that controls, finances and directs military intelligence, the GRU, through his defense ministry," Wallace told radio of the BBC.

He added: "I do not think anyone can say that Mr. Putin is not in control of his state … And the GRU is, no doubt, not rogue.

Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned in March 2018.

Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned in March 2018.

AAP

"It is directed, linked to the high offices of the Russian General Staff and the defense minister, and then to the Kremlin and the president's office."

Britain will report to the UN Security Council later on Thursday on its latest findings, and the meeting will begin at 11:30 a.m. (1530 GMT).

Cyberwar?

Amid reports that Britain was planning a direct response in cyberspace, Wallace said the Russians were the main operators behind the attacks on British networks.

"We retaliate on our way … within the rule of law and in a sophisticated way, so they know the cost of what they do," he said.

The government is also reviewing visa applications from rich Russians in Britain, and is preparing new powers to stop people on the border if "malign state activity" is suspected.

The Skripals survived the poisoning but a local man, Charlie Rowley, picked up a bottle of fake perfume that contained Novichok weeks later.

CCTV image of Russian Ruslan Boshirov arriving at Gatwick airport.

CCTV image of Russian Ruslan Boshirov arriving at Gatwick airport.

Police of the United Kingdom

Rowley gave it to his girlfriend, Dawn Sturgess, who later died.

British prosecutors accuse Petrov and Boshirov of conspiracy to murder Skripal, attempted murder and the use of a banned chemical weapon.

They said they would not formally demand their extradition, since Russia does not extradite its citizens, but they have obtained a European arrest warrant for the couple.