World News

UK to seek extradition of Salisbury nerve agent suspects

UK to seek extradition of Salisbury nerve agent suspects

Relations between the United Kingdom and Russian Federation are at the worst they have been since the end of the Cold War after the nerve agent attack on Sergei Skripal, a former spy, and his daughter Yulia.

Britain's domestic Press Association news agency reported last month that police had identified two Russian suspects in the Salisbury attack, but there has been no official confirmation of this.

According to the publication, the request for extradition has already been prepared and is going to be sent to Russian authorities in the nearest future.

Any extradition request is likely to be rejected by Russian Federation - and risks inflaming diplomatic tensions between London and Moscow, which are the worst since the Cold War.

Both are suspected of poisoning Sergei Skripal, a former double agent, and his daughter, Yulia, on March 4 with Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent developed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War. They were found unconscious on a public bench in Salisbury.

British civil service and security sources told the newspaper that the government had finished preparing the request to the Russian government.

More news: China to put 25% tariffs on $16 billion worth of US products

Britain blamed Russian Federation for the poisonings and identified the poison as Novichok, a deadly group of nerve agents developed by the Soviet military in the 1970s and 1980s.

Russian Federation has angrily rejected any involvement, plunging diplomatic relations into crisis.

An investigation by hundreds of British police and intelligence officers have pieced together the movements of the two Russians, from their entry into Britain through to their departure, the Guardian reported.

In 2007, President Vladimir Putin rejected an extradition request for two Russians suspected of the assassination of the former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko in London using radioactive polonium. She died eight days later, but he has since been released from the hospital.

Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess were subsequently treated for exposure to the nerve agent.


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