Tensions spike between U.K., Russian Federation over nerve agent case

Novichok Nerve Agent Poisoned British Couple: Police

Britain has said the type of nerve agent used in the Skripal attack was developed by the Soviet Union and could only have been produced by a state agency.

A team of 100 officers are working to discover how and where a 44-year-old woman and a 45-year-old man, both now critically ill, came across an item contaminated with Novichok, the same toxin used in an attack on ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter four months ago.

Since the Russian government originally had the only samples of this, British authorities, including Prime Minister Theresa May, have concluded that there can only be two options: either Russia is behind the attacks or they let their custom-made nerve agent fall into the hands of someone else.

The Kremlin said Russian Federation had offered Britain its assistance in investigating the nerve agent attack and had been rebuffed.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid said the "strong working assumption" was that the couple came into contact with Novichok in a location which had not been cleaned up following the Skripal poisoning.

Peskov noted Britain has rejected Russia's offer for a joint probe, adding that "the British side has not presented any evidence of Russia's involvement in this, besides unfounded accusations".

The Skripals spent weeks in critical condition after being attacked in the southwest England city of Salisbury in March.

In addition to a "failed" Brexit and a "failed" economy, she is dealing with the uncertainty over Mr Trump's visit and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit, he said. They left their novichok nerve agent in puddles across Wiltshire, suggesting they had little real idea of the substance they were dealing with.

All three people hospitalised earlier this year eventually survived, with Sergei Skripal the last to leave hospital, on May 18.

Peskov noted that Britain rejected Russia's offer of a joint probe of the Skripal case, adding that the United Kingdom "has not presented any evidence of Russia's involvement in this, besides unfounded accusations".

Authorities initially thought the two had taken a contaminated batch of heroin or crack cocaine.

Sturgess was living in a homeless hostel in Salisbury, while Rowley lived in the small town of Amesbury nearby.

Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, said the use of a deadly nerve agent in Salisbury was an "absolutely vile act of terror".

Paramedics were called to the home after the woman collapsed and they returned later with fire and rescue officers when the man also became ill.

"It is completely unacceptable for our people to be either deliberate or accidental targets, or for our streets, our parks, our towns to be dumping grounds for poison". "The possibility that these two investigations might be linked is clearly a line of enquiry for us", Britain's top counter-terrorism officer Neil Basu stated. Investigators are trying to track the exact movements of Sturgess and Rowley from around 10pm on Friday. Health officials, however, say the risk to the public is low.

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