Russia has refused to cooperate with the United Kingdom’s investigations into Sergey Skripal’s poisoning until they receive a sample of the nerve agent.
The unravelling events behind the poisoning of Russian double agent Skripal and his daughter Yulia last week led to the discovery that the ‘military-grade nerve agent’ known as Novichok that was used in the attack was Russian made.
The BBC reported that Theresa May has given Russia until midnight to explain the links and provide a ‘full and complete disclosure’ of the chemical programme.
Relations between Russia and Britain have been dogged by the investigation since the pair were found slumped on a bench in Salisbury last Sunday.
Since the attack which saw 38 people referred to hospital, a number more have come forward from the area with symptoms such a vomiting and nausea and it was reported that residents of the area were advised to wash their belongings to ensure the substance is contained.
Meanwhile, the Russian born father and daughter, alongside a police officer who was in attendance at the scene, remain critically ill in hospital.
The Russian response to the attack and the ongoing investigation has been one of denial.
Russian News Agency Tass said the country’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has dismissed the accusations as ‘nonsense’.
Reports reveal the minister outlining Russia’s attempted co-operation, whilst calling out Britain for not following the correct protocol: “Russia is not guilty and it is prepared to cooperate in accordance with the Chemical Weapons Convention if the United Kingdom takes the trouble of complying with its international legal obligations under the same document.”
In response to the attack and suggestions of further sanctions being requested by the U.K is has also been reported by The Guardian that European consensus on more sanctions has been cracking.
A further major blow comes from the United States following the surprise sacking via Twitter of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who was supporting the UK’s approach to Russia.
The head of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has condemned the attack and pointed that the responsible parties must be held responsible. There have been a number of calls for further action against the use of chemical weapons on British soil if proof is found that ties the attack to the Russian government. Amidst the rising tensions, residents in the affected area have also raised concerns about the lack of information and preparation that has been handled throughout the case.
The attack has also opened the re-investigation into a number of other suspicious deaths on English soil recently, and as people speculate Russia’s involvement on a chemical attack on the country, it could point to further escalation and rising tensions before anything is actually resolved and the full truth behind the attempted murder discovered.