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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 19 June 2018

Trump reassures Theresa May of US support over Russia ultimatum

The president spoke with his British counterpart and discussed the investigation into the nerve agent attack in Salisbury

Donald Trump has moved to reassure British prime minister Theresa May of America’s support over her ultimatum to Russia over the Salisbury chemical attack. AFP/MANDEL NGAN
Donald Trump has moved to reassure British prime minister Theresa May of America’s support over her ultimatum to Russia over the Salisbury chemical attack. AFP/MANDEL NGAN

US President Donald Trump has reassured British Prime Minister Theresa May of America’s support over her ultimatum to Russia over the Salisbury chemical attack.

Mr Trump spoke to Mrs May on Tuesday, and they discussed the investigation into the nerve agent attack that left former double agent Sergei Skripol and his daughter fighting for their lives in a British hospital.

Mrs May had demanded a response from the Russian government by midnight GMT on Tuesday night to the accusation that only the government of Vladimir Putin could have launched the attack, as the chemical weapon believed to have been used, Novichok, is only produced in that country.

Mr Trump said “the United States stands in solidarity with its closest ally and is ready to provide any assistance the United Kingdom requests for its investigation”. He agreed “that the [Russian government] must provide unambiguous answers regarding how this chemical weapon, developed in Russia, came to be used in the United Kingdom”.

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Read more:

Split between State and White House over reaction to UK nerve agent attack

Britain’s May says it’s ‘highly likely’ Russia poisoned Sergei Skripal

What is Novichok, the nerve agent believed to have been used against Sergei Skripal?

Salisbury: the medieval city at the centre of spy assassination bid

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The pair also agreed on the need for there to be consequences for those who use such “heinous weapons in flagrant violation of international norms”.

On Monday night, after Mrs May had told the House of Commons that Russia was the prime suspect in the poisoning, Mr Trump expressed his support for Britain through his spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders, but did not mention the allegations against Russia.