Updated: UK Permanent Representative to the UN's statement at the UN Security Council added.
On Sunday 4 March Sergei and Yulia Skripal were poisoned in Salisbury with a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia.
On 5 April the UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Karen Pierce, gave a statement at the UN Security Council emergency meeting called by Russia. Writing in the Sunday Times on 8 April, the Foreign Secretary said that only Russia could have committed this crime.
At the request of Russia, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Executive Council met on 4 April. The Acting UK Permanent Representative to the OPCW responded on the UKs actions, in line with the Chemical Weapons Convention. Following the defeat of Russias proposals, the Foreign Secretary gave a statement.
Prime Ministers 26 March statement on collective diplomatic expulsions
Speaking in the House of Commons, the Prime Minister said that 18 countries have announced their intention to expel more than 100 Russian intelligence officers. This includes 15 EU member states as well as the US, Canada and the Ukraine, and is the largest collective expulsion of Russian intelligence officers in history. Find out more in the Prime Ministers Commons statement on national security and Russia.
The Prime Minister also spoke about this in her Commons statement on the March European Council.
On 27 March the Foreign Secretary wrote in The Times that our allies will expel Russian officials because they share our view of the threat post by the Kremlin to their values and security.
In his 28 March Mansion House speech, the Foreign Secretary thanked the 27 countries and NATO for expelling Russian officials whose presence they deem to be no longer conducive to the public good.
The Russian governments response has demonstrated disdain for the gravity of the Salisbury attack.
Prime Ministers 14 March statement: immediate actions including diplomatic expulsions
In her statement to Parliament on 14 March the Prime Minister said that Russia provided no explanation as to how this agent came to be used in the UK. There is no alternative conclusion other than that the Russian State was culpable for the attempted murder of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, which was an unlawful use of force by the Russian State against the UK. The UK government would:
- expel 23 Russian diplomats identified as undeclared intelligence officers
- propose new legislative powers to harden defences against Hostile State Activity and ensure those seeking to carry out such activity cannot enter the UK
- suspend all planned high-level contacts between the UK and Russia
On 17 March the Foreign & Commonwealth Office issued a statement in response to the Russian governments decision to expel UK diplomats, following the British Ambassadors meeting with the Russian government.
On 22 March British Ambassador to Russia, Laurie Bristow, gave a briefing to the international diplomatic community
Russian State disinformation
Writing for the Telegraph on 20 March, the Foreign Secretary looks at the Russian States disruptive behaviour in Russian elections and the Salisbury attack.
Russias impact on global security
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson wrote an article in the Washington Post setting out Russias threat to global security.
Prime Ministers 12 March statement: seeking explanation from Russia
On 12 March Prime Minister Theresa May gave a statement in Parliament. Either this was a direct act by the Russian State against our country, or the Russian government lost control of this potentially catastrophically damaging nerve agent and allowed it to get into the hands of others. The Foreign Secretary spoke to the BBC and reiterated the Prime Ministers message.
Russian state aggression in the past few years
Home Secretarys initial statement
On 8 March the Home Secretary Amber Rudd gave an initial statement on the investigation into events in Salisbury. This followed Foreign Secretary Boris Johnsons response to an Urgent Question in Parliament on 6 March.
On 22 March the Prime Minister met with President Macron and Chancellor Merkel where the 3 leaders agreed on the importance of sending a strong European message in response to Russias actions. The European Council also issued a press release on its conclusions about the Salisbury attack
On 15 March the leaders of France, Germany, the US and the UK have issued a joint statement on the Salisbury attack.
The Prime Minister has spoken with world leaders about the ongoing investigation. Each expressed their solidarity with the UK:
- call with Japanese Prime Minister Abe on 20 March
- call with Polish Prime Minister Morawiecki on 18 March
- call with Italian Prime Minister Gentiloni on 16 March
- call with Australian Prime Minister Turnbull on 16 March
- call with French President Macron on 15 March and on 12 March
- call with Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau on 14 March
- call with Prime Minister Xavier Bettel of Luxembourg on 14 March
- call with US President Trump on 13 March
- call with German Chancellor Merkel on 13 March
European Foreign Ministers express their solidarity
On 21 March UK National Security Advisor Sir Mark Sedwill gave a statement on his meeting with the EU High Representative, senior EU officials and representatives of member states.
Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
Peter Wilson, UK Permanent Representative gave an update to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). This follows his statement to the OPCW on 13 March.
Independent technical experts from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) arrive in the UK on 19 March to begin their investigation into the nerve agent used in the attempted assassinations in Salisbury.
The Foreign Secretary and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg held a joint press conference on 19 March.
On 15 March National Security Advisor Sir Mark Sedwill briefed the NATO North Atlantic Council
Other international organisations
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office also raised this issue in other international forums:
- Head of UK Delegation Sian MacLeod gave a statement to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe on 15 March
- Ambassador Jonathan Allen gave a briefing to the United Nations Security Council on 14 March
- in the 37th Human Rights Council session Julian Braithwaite, the UK Permanent Representative, gave a statement to the United Nations in Geneva on 14 March
On 15 March Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson announced a £48 million investment in a new Chemical Weapons Defence Centre to maintain our cutting-edge in chemical analysis and defence.
Advice and guidance
- latest Foreign & Commonwealth Office travel advice for Russia
- Public Health England advice for people in Salisbury