Speech: Nerve agent attack in Salisbury, Wiltshire: UK statement to the OSCE, 12 April 2018

MoD_RSS

War Hero
Mr Chairman,

A month ago, on 15 March, I tabled at the Permanent Council the attack in Salisbury, Wiltshire, involving an undeclared, Russian developed nerve-agent.

As a courtesy to participating States, I would like to update the Council on this attempted assassination that left Sergey Skripal, his daughter Yulia and a British police officer hospitalised and in a critical condition.

Thankfully DS Bailey has now been discharged from hospital and the Skripals’ health is improving.

A painstaking and thorough UK investigation continues, working to identify the individuals involved in carrying out this attack and to establish potential criminal liability under the UK’s 1996 Chemical Weapons Act.

In accordance with the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) deployed a team to the UK to collect environmental samples and to observe the taking of biomedical samples. These samples were sent to independent OPCW designated laboratories for analysis, in order to confirm the identity of the chemical involved.

The OPCW has now finalised its report, distributed it to States Parties of the Chemical Weapons Convention, and published its Executive Summary of that report. I quote:


  • the results of analysis of biomedical samples…demonstrate the exposure of the three hospitalised individuals to this toxic chemical


  • the results of analysis of environmental samples….confirm the presence of this toxic chemical


  • the results of analysis…confirm the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical

and:

  • the toxic chemical was of high purity

The name and structure of that identified toxic chemical is contained in the full classified report to States Parties.

Mr Chairman, I will remind the Council of the reasons for the UK government’s conclusion that it was highly likely that the Russian State was culpable for this attack. These include:

  • identification of the Russian-developed nerve agent
  • the knowledge that the Russian Federation has produced this undeclared agent within the last 10 years, retains the capability to produce it and has investigated ways of delivering nerve agents, it is likely, for use in assassinations
  • Russia’s record of state sponsored assassinations
  • statements, including by the Russian President, indicating that certain people are seen as legitimate targets

Also for clarity, and for the benefit of our Russian colleagues, I will explain why we use the phrase ‘highly likely’. This is because in the UK it is for a Court of Law to deliver a final verdict on responsibility for a criminal offence.

The use of an illegal nerve agent in a British city was a reckless act carried out without regard to the indiscriminate public health consequences. The UK has repeatedly asked the Russian Federation for a credible explanation of how a nerve agent came to be used on the streets of Salisbury, and to disclose the Novichok programme to the OPCW.

What happened in Salisbury contravenes every rule in the international book, including the Chemical Weapons Convention and the fundamental tenets of the OSCE. This was a premeditated attack on the international rules-based order, and therefore, a challenge to us all.

Mr Chairman, this organisation knows better than any other about a pattern of Russian behaviour that seeks to undermine stability and democracy in our region in violation of international commitments and contrary to the principles of co-operation and common security. This is a pattern of disregard for sovereignty and territorial integrity, of attempts to damage the integrity of democratic institutions and the cohesion of democratic society, of cyber-attacks and of industrial scale disinformation that cynically seeks to mislead, distract and confuse.

I wish to thank so many colleagues and partners for the support of their capitals over the past few weeks. The strength of international reaction to what happened in Salisbury – including the largest expulsion of Russian intelligence operatives in history – sends a message that states are ready to stand up for shared principles and for common security; that attempts to undermine our region’s stability and security have costs; that enough is enough.

Mr Chairman, on 15 March our distinguished Russian colleague asked ‘who benefits’?

The answer is clear: no-one benefits. Not the people of Salisbury, who have faced serious risk and disruption. Not the UK government, dealing with the unprecedented use of an illegal nerve agent on British soil. Not the Russian people. Nor even, I would suggest, the Russian state, unprepared for the strength and resolve of the international reaction.

I do not believe any state seeks or enjoys confrontation with Russia or wants to throw away relationships and co-operation developed here and elsewhere over the past 30 years. Our challenge in the OSCE is to persuade our Russian colleagues to break the present cycle of disruption and destabilisation, and to rebuild trust through a return to respect for shared commitments.

Continue reading...
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
MoD_RSS Speech: OPCW Executive Council meeting: 18 April update on the use of a nerve agent in Salisbury MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Speech: Salisbury nerve agent attack: UK OSCE Permanent Council statement MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Speech: Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons 87th Executive Council session: 14 March update on the use of nerve agent in Salisbury, U MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Speech: Foreign Secretary’s remarks on the use of a nerve agent in Salisbury: 13 March 2018 MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Julia Lopez speech at techUK’s ‘Building the Smarter State’ Conference MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Lord Chancellor’s Speech: White Paper Launch - A Smarter Approach to Sentencing MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Robert Jenrick's speech to Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) 2020 MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Home Secretary speech at the Police Superintendents' Association conference MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Chartered Institute of Housing 2020: Housing Minister's speech MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Defence Secretary's speech at meeting of UK, German and French defence ministers MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Speech to ICAEW Virtual Conference MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Lord Chancellor’s Mansion House speech to the judiciary MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Chief Secretary to the Treasury delivers his first speech in the role to thinktank Onward MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Universities Minister speech at Festival of Higher Education MoD News 0
MoD_RSS George Eustice speech on environmental recovery: 20 July 2020 MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Commander Strategic Command, General Sir Patrick Sanders’ Speech at the Air and Space Power Conference MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Amb Pruce's Speech at the Forum on Youths’ SOGIE & Mental Health
 MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Defence Secretary keynote speech at the Air and Space Power Conference 2020 MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Defence Secretary Ben Wallace gives a speech at the Air and Space Power Conference MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Alex Chisholm speech at Civil Service Live 2020 MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Foreign Secretary speech at India Global Week MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Education Secretary FE speech with Social Market Foundation MoD News 0
MoD_RSS A Plan for Jobs speech MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Local Government Association annual conference 2020: Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government's speech MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rushi Sunak, on the future relationship between the UK and Switzerland on financial services MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Environment Secretary speech at the COP26 Business Leaders Event MoD News 0
MoD_RSS PM Economy Speech: 30 June 2020 MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Has coronavirus killed globalisation: speech by Laura Clarke MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Digital Secretary's closing speech to the UK Tech Cluster Group MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Fiona MacGregor speech at Digital Housing Week – 22 June 2020 MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Leader of the House of Commons speech: 8 June 2020 MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Caroline Dinenage's keynote speech for the Founders Forum - Healthtech stage MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Caroline Dinenage's keynote speech at the CogX Createch Stage MoD News 0
MoD_RSS COP26 President speech at Race to Zero campaign launch MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Tourism Minister's speech at the Extraordinary G20 Tourism Ministers' Meeting on Covid-19 MoD News 0
MoD_RSS COP26 President speech at opening of Placencia Ambition Forum MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Gavin Williamson speech on COVID-19 response MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Queen's Counsel Appointments Ceremony 2020: Lord Chancellor speech MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Economic secretary speech to the ABCUL MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Education Secretary speech at ASCL's Annual Conference MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Speech for Airport Operators Association annual dinner MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Budget Speech 2020 MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Minister for Women and Equalities Liz Truss speech at The House magazine's Women in Westminster: The 100 event MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Housing Minister's speech to the Planning Inspectorate MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Defence Secretary Ben Wallace gives a speech to the Atlantic Council MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Secretary of State Oliver Dowden's speech at the Enders Media and Telecoms Conference MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Times Law Awards 2020: Robert Buckland speech MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Nigel Huddleston Youth Sport Trust Annual Conference speech MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Speech at GCR Live: Telecoms, Media and Technology 2020 MoD News 0
MoD_RSS IAP Keeping Safe Conference: Robert Buckland speech MoD News 0
Similar threads


















































Top