France to ‘take action’ over spy poisoning in coming days

French President Macron addresses a news conference during EU leaders informal summit in Brussels. (Reuters)

French President Emmanuel Macron said Thursday that he would announce unspecified “measures” in the coming days over the poisoning of a Russian former double agent in Britain.

“I will announce the measures that we are going to take in the coming days,” Macron told reporters during a visit to central France. He added that he condemned the attack in the “strongest possible terms.”

“I condemn in the strongest possible terms this unacceptable attack,” Macron told reporters during a visit to central France.

“Everything leads us to believe that responsibility can be attributed to Russia, and the work of the British services, shared with France’s services, confirms it,” he added.

“I will announce the measures that we are going to take in the coming days,” he said.

It was unclear whether the action would be counter-measures against Russia.

Macron said he would discuss the issue with German Chancellor Angela Merkel who is due in Paris on Friday.

Retaliatory steps

The Kremlin on Thursday slammed Britain’s raft of punitive measures against Russia over the poisoning of a former double agent as “absolutely irresponsible.”

“The position of the British side appears to us absolutely irresponsible,” President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists.

He said retaliatory steps would soon follow, with Putin likely to choose the option that “most suits Russia’s interests.”

On Wednesday, Britain said it would expel 23 diplomats and suspend high-level contacts with Russia, with other measures to follow.

The announcement came after British authorities said Russia was “culpable” of the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter with a Soviet-designed nerve agent called Novichok on March 4.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:56 - GMT 06:56
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