White House calls attack on Russian spy in UK ‘an outrage’

Trump press secretary Sarah Sanders labels attack ‘reckless, indiscriminate and irresponsible’

Military forces work on a van in Winterslow, England, Monday, March 12, 2018, as investigations continue into the nerve-agent poisoning of Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, in Salisbury, England, on Sunday March 4, 2018.

Washington: The White House on Monday condemned the chemical attack on a former Russian spy in Britain as “an outrage,” breaking a week-long silence.

“The use of a highly lethal nerve agent against UK citizens on UK soil is an outrage,” said press secretary Sarah Sanders. “The attack was reckless, indiscriminate and irresponsible.”

Sanders stopped short of pointing the finger of blame at Moscow, as British Prime Minister Theresa May did earlier in parliament.

The United States and Britain have a long-standing intelligence-sharing agreement.

When asked whether Russia was to blame, Sanders demurred: “We stand by our ally and fully support them.”

For a week, the White House had refused to comment on the attempt to kill Sergei Skripal, who sold secrets to Britain and later moved there in a 2010 spy swap with Russia.

May said Monday that the nerve agent was military-grade and developed by Russia.

Moscow has repeatedly denied any involvement, and earlier warned London that in attributing blame, it was playing a “dangerous game” that risked harming bilateral ties.


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