UK, US, Germany and France condemn Russia for spy attack

Leaders of UK, US, Germany and France have issued a joint statement saying that there was 'no alternative explanation' than Russia

The leaders of France, Germany, the US and UK have issued a statement on the nerve agent attack in the UK, saying there that the only plausible explanation is that Russia is responsible.

The four nations condemned the "first offensive use of a nerve agent in Europe since the Second World War", calling it an assault on UK sovereignty.

They said they "abhor the attack".

The statement says: "It is an assault on UK sovereignty and any such use by a State party is a clear violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and a breach of international law. It threatens the security of us all."

Earlier, the White House backed the UK's decision to expel diplomats.

“We share the UK assessment that there is no plausible alternative explanation, and note that Russia’s failure to address the legitimate request by the UK government further underlines its responsibility.”

The nations urged Russia to "address all questions related to the attack" and provide all details about the nerve agent used.

It added: "Our concerns are also heightened against the background of a pattern of earlier irresponsible Russian behaviour.

"We call on Russia to live up to its responsibilities as a member of the UN Security Council to uphold international peace and security."

Russia has denied any involvement in the attack. It has vowed a swift response to the expulsion of its diplomats.

There was overwhelming support for the UK from its allies, including the US, at a meeting of the UN security council overnight.

On Wednesday May announced the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats from the UK and a range of other measures to crack down on “corrupt elites”, including new measures to combat spying.

The UK will also create a new chemical weapons "defence centre", Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has said.

Announcing the measure, Williamson said Russia "should go away - it should shut up".

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