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Ex-spy poisoning: UN Chief says use of nerve agent 'unacceptable'

"The president did tell the prime minister on the phone yesterday the United States does stand 100 percent with our ally [the] U.K. on this matter", he said.

Britain said the nerve agent Novichok - a chemical weapon developed by the Soviet Union in the 1980s - was used in the attack.

Russian officials deny any involvement.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, "The response will come very quickly, I can assure you", Tass reports.

"This represents an unlawful use of force by the Russian state against the United Kingdom", May said during an address to the House of Commons earlier Wednesday.

"Instead, they have treated the use of a military-grade nerve agent in Europe with sarcasm, contempt and defiance".

The United States pledged its solidarity with the UK and expressed concerns over a similar chemical agent attack happening in America.

He added: "Without this, stating that there is incontrovertible truth is not something that we can take into account".

"Time and time again, member-states say they oppose the use of chemical weapons under any circumstance", Haley continued.

Vassily Nebenzia told the Security Council Russia has "nothing to do with it", saying Russia is ready to participate in a joint investigation. "So, the chance that perhaps some of these Novichoks have been stolen by criminals or terrorists from Russia is a possibility, and we wait to see an explanation from the Russian Ambassador to London tomorrow, but I think highly unlikely".

Washington's envoy, Nikki Haley, delivered the most unambiguous statement of support from the Trump administration so far.

The prime minister declared solidarity with the United Kingdom as it completes its investigation into the "heinous" nerve agent attack carried out on English soil.

The British prime minister also demands in her letter that Moscow immediately provide "full and complete disclosure of the Novichok program" to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) monitoring group.

Nauert - who was elevated to acting undersecretary after the firing of Steve Goldstein, himself collateral damage of the Tillerson dismissal - went on to say, "This latest action by Russian Federation fits into a pattern of behavior in which Russian Federation disregards the global rules-based order, undermines the sovereignty and security of countries worldwide, and attempts to subvert and discredit Western democratic institutions and processes".

The Security Council session appeared to be part of a broad effort by the British government to marshal the support of allies for a robust response to Russian Federation.

- And finally, we will freeze Russian state assets wherever we have the evidence that they may be used to threaten the life or property of United Kingdom nationals or residents.



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