Britain, France, Germany and the United States condemned a nerve agent attack on a Russian ex-spy and his daughter, saying there was “no plausible alternative explanation” to Moscow’s involvement.
Britain has linked the attack to Soviet-designed nerve agents known as Novichok, and accused Moscow of failing to explain how the poison came to be used on English soil.
The Salisbury poisoning is the first offensive use of a nerve agent in Europe since the Second World War.
It amounts to “a breach of international law. It threatens the security of us all,” the US and European leaders said.
Almost everything in the public domain comes from Russian defectors who revealed the existence of the secret weapons programme in the 1990s, including a former chemist who wrote a book about them. The aim of the nerve agents appears to have been to circumvent international conventions banning chemical weapons by developing compounds with new structures that would escape detection, experts say.