Merkel, Macron "Convinced" Moscow Orchestrated Skripal Poisoning

French President Emmanuel Macron and German leader Angela Merkel said Friday following a meeting of the European Council that UK Prime Minister Theresa May had shared "proof" of Russia's involvement in the assassination attempt against former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, the two leaders said during a joint press conference in Brussels on the sidelines of a meeting of the European Council.

But although the evidence was purportedly convincing - and all three leaders are in agreement that Russia was the only reasonable culprit, and that they would help support an investigation into the matter - the EC opted not to take any immediate action against Moscow, TASS reported.

In a statement, the EC said it "agrees with the United Kingdom government's assessment that it is highly likely that the Russian Federation is responsible and that there is no plausible alternative explanation."

"The European Council condemns in the strongest possible terms the recent attack in Salisbury, expresses its deepest sympathies to all whose lives have been threatened and lends its support to the ongoing investigation."

"The use of chemical weapons, including the use of any toxic chemicals as weapons under any circumstances, is completely unacceptable, must be systematically and rigorously condemned and constitutes a security threat to us all. Member States will coordinate on the consequences to be drawn in the light of the answers provided by the Russian authorities. The European Union will remain closely focused on this issue and its implications," the document said.

As a sop to the Russia hawks, the gathering of EU leaders agreed to bolster cooperation with NATO to strengthen its resilience to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear-related risks, and hybrid threats, including in the areas of cyber, strategic communication and counter-intelligence.

Macron

The European Council invited the European Commission and the High Representative to take this work forward and report on progress by the June European Council.

After arriving Thursday in Brussels, May told reporters and her fellow European leaders "it is clear that the Russian threat does not respect borders and indeed the incident is Salisbury was part of a pattern of Russian aggression against Europe and its near neighbors from the western Balkans to the Near East."

During a joint press conference, Merkel and Macron said they'd been given evidence by the UK to support its claims. Merkel said the reports were "well grounded," RT reported.

"[UK Prime Minister] Theresa May has provided us with some results [of the investigation]," German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at the joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron in Brussels on Friday. She added that the two countries will follow the British probe into the poisoning of the former Russia-UK double agent "closely" and are "convinced" that the conclusions that were made by the investigators so far are "already well-grounded."

Meanwhile, Macron said "there is no… plausible explanation" to the Salisbury incident other than Russia being behind the attack. He added that "all EU member states agree" on that allegation.

* * *

During a separate meeting earlier this week, EU foreign ministers expressed solidarity with the UK, but also declined to take any further action against Moscow - although there was disagreement between nations.

German foreign minister called Russia "a difficult partner" but also noted that "dialogue" with Moscow ought to continue. London and Moscow should sift through the evidence "bilaterally" Maas said.  Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl argued the accusations against Russia were premature, and refused to back London, per  Strategic Culture.

Spain’s Alfonso Dastis stressed the need for more evidence before reaching conclusions. He believes the EU should wait until the OPCW conducts a thorough examination of all elements involved.

At the same time, representatives from Warsaw - who have recently proven eager to attack Moscow given even the thinnest of pretexts - expressed solidarity with London.

Skripal, 66, and his 33-year-old daughter have been in critical condition since the March 4 attack, when they were found unconscious on a bench outside a shopping center in Salisbury. Skripal had worked as a double agent for the UK intelligence agency MI6 and was jailed in Russia in 2006 for spying for Britain. He was later freed as part of a spy swap in which Russia released four spies in exchange for 10 Russian agents.

Russia has repeatedly denied its involvement and rejected UK demands to issue an explanation for how the Soviet-era nerve agent - known as Novichok - made its way to London.

However, the EU did agree to withdraw its ambassador to Moscow, saying the envoy will return to Brussels "for consultations" as several member states ponder whether to follow the UK's lead and expel their diplomats. The UK expelled 23 Russian diplomats in response to the attack, prompting a proportional response from Moscow.

Ireland, Denmark, Lithuania and the Czech Republic are also considering further measures, including the expulsion of diplomats, CNN reported.

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Comments

JSBach1 Looney Fri, 03/23/2018 - 14:20 Permalink

MoA has been one of the best on this topic:

 

Several Russian scientist now say that they once researched and developed lethal poisons but they assert that other countries can and have copied these. 'Novichok', they say,  is a just western propaganda invention. They see the British accusations as a cynical plot against Russia. The people who push the 'Novichok' accusations have political and commercial interests...

 Mr Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/03/russian-scientists-explain-novicho… 

***Of note...read the comments exchange between user Old Microbiologist & Paveway IV (starting with comment 108)***

 

Also two days ago Craig Murray's website was hit by an unprecedented DDOS attacks:

 

We are experiencing a Denial of Service Attack on a massive scale. Our extremely experienced tech team – who are serious professionals who come from major IT players – have never defended an attack this big on which someone is spending real resources. 

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/03/massive-attack-on-this-… 

 

Radio interview with Craig Murray about Skirpal attack:

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/03/craig-murray-radio-5-in…

In reply to by Looney

Omen IV wildbad Fri, 03/23/2018 - 15:26 Permalink

as the lies become more transparent - Macron & Merkel agree easier - there is no purpose to a reason for anything including murder

every time just blame Russia or XXX - Uber murder  in Phx was the pedestrians fault - makes sense

 

illegal aliens are Dreamers / citizens are Deplorables / rape in UK is cultural freedom - free speech is hate speech

In reply to by wildbad

FireBrander sixsigma cygnu… Fri, 03/23/2018 - 14:46 Permalink

I would think, that if "Russia did it", on UK Soil, that it would be Child-play for the UK to offer irrefutable PROOF!

I would also think, that before you accuse, try and convict a foriegn NATION for a crime; that you would have proof in hand rather than nothing but an "on going investigation" that you believe can only end with Russia being "guilty".

Geesh! These are GOVERNMENTS acting like FaceBook nutjob posters.
 

In reply to by sixsigma cygnu…

Librarian sixsigma cygnu… Fri, 03/23/2018 - 15:49 Permalink

Soon to be reported by the MSM:  "A credible source from zerohedge.com familiar with the matter reported that there is no question that it is Russia's fault.".  

 

A few hours later, CNN will then quote whoever reported it first and then claim that this re-reporting is actual corroboration.

 

I had no idea that journalism these days was so easy!  I am going to start putting it on my CV.

 

In reply to by sixsigma cygnu…

Crazy Or Not JSBach1 Fri, 03/23/2018 - 14:54 Permalink

who are serious professionals who come from major IT players – have never defended an attack this big on which someone is spending real resources. (ZH take note: Comments are on point/to the point).

MoA has been a great read these last few weeks.
Real question is "Who Gains from this?"

May hasn't the balls to pull this off alone. Exiting the EU she's ripe to be played many ways. 
US is Broke (has been since 2005 - credit ponzi since then), and is pumping oil/gas like no tomorrow.
That oil n Gas needs markets EU is fav.
Increse anti RUS turmoil in Eastern States. 
The rest is details.

In reply to by JSBach1

JohninMK Crazy Or Not Fri, 03/23/2018 - 18:36 Permalink

To get blood samples from the Skripals to give to OPCW the UK Government had to go to Court as they could not give permission themselves. Note how careful Porton Down are being in their wording, their reputation is on the line here amongst their equals. They don't care about Teresa May.

The judgment from the High Court yesterday allowed new blood samples to be taken from Sergei and Yulia Skripal to be analyzed by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

In his judgment, Justice David Basil Williams included a summary of the evidence, revealing Porton Down’s analysis. The judgment, which includes sworn court evidence from a Porton Down chemical and biological analyst, reads:

“Blood samples from Sergei Skripal and Yulia Skripal were analyzed and the findings indicated exposure to a nerve agent OR related compound. The samples tested positive for the presence of a Novichok-class nerve agent OR closely related agent.”

From a good thread at https://www.veteranstoday.com/2018/03/23/breaking-russia-tells-their-si…

In reply to by Crazy Or Not

francis scott … Jim in MN Fri, 03/23/2018 - 21:06 Permalink

My tinfoil Ouija Board has spelt out a couple of new

conspiracies.  First, it is very possible that MI5/6

themselves poisoned the nerves of the Skripals

without telling May's government. The CIA is famous

for presenting various administrations with fait accompli. 

False flags that Washington didn't order, but got stuck

having to acknowledge after the CIA carried them out. 

Thus,  it is possible that UK's ministers May, BoJo, and

the infantile Gavin Williamson just took the word of

MI5/6 upon which they based their stupid, offensive

and undiplomatic remarks. 

 

It will be up to future governments of the UK to get

the toothpaste back in the tube and Gavin Williamson

back to selling furniture and fireplaces, where he first

dazzled May and other distinguished Tories.

 

Second, a much more tinfoil conspiracy, is that the

Skripals 'poisoning' is the third use of a nerve agent

agent by some unidentified players  --  probably

the same in all three instances .  Admittedly, it

was much more 'tinfoil' when there was only one

'data point', but two more have come into existence,

and like GPS, they helped me arrive at my destination. 

The first point was the strange tale of Otto Warmbier. 

A University of Virginia graduate :

Otto Frederick Warmbier (December 12, 1994 – June 19, 2017) was an American university student. In 2016, he was arrested and convicted by North Korean authorities for attempted theft, for which he was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment. While incarcerated, he fell into a coma and never regained consciousness, dying in June 2017.

A nice looking young man in his early 20s, a preppy

type, no doubt intelligent to have graduated from U

of V, a school conveniently located near the seat of

the US government and the headquarters of the CIA.

When I was a student at the U of P in the late 50s

I remember being told by friends that the CIA was

on campus recruiting graduates to be future agents. 

"He was traveling to Hong Kong for a study

abroad program when he decided to visit

North Korea on a guided tour."

Warmbier was intelligent enough to do graduate

work in Hong Kong and interested enough to want

to see North Korea, while being stupid enough to

supposedly try to leave the country with a stolen 

poster of NorKo propaganda, from the hotel he

was staying in.

 

So in early 2016 he was convicted and sentenced

to 15 years at hard labor. That made me think he

was an agent of the CIA,

whose assignment it was to be arrested and jailed

by North Korea.  But for what purpose?  To what

end?  Over a year later we learned that a month

after his conviction, he fell into a coma "as a

result of botulism and a sleeping pill."  Did the

CIA give him the chemicals to self-induce a coma?

 

By the time we were told about Warmbier's coma

and he was shipped home in June 2017, the second

data point had come and gone. I refer to the unusual

assassination of Kim Jong-nam. 

On 13 February 2017, Kim died after being

attacked by two women with VX nerve agent

at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in 

Malaysia while traveling from Macau under a

pseudonym. His death is under investigation,

but it is speculated that it was carried out at

the command of the North Korean government.

 

So this is the second data point.  And it's about North

Korea as well.  In January 2016 Otto Warmbier is

sentenced to 15 years in a North Korean prison, one

month later he falls into a coma after taking a

sleeping pill and in June 2017 he is returned to his

home in Cincinnati, where he promptly dies.

 

On February 13, 2017, Kim Jong-nam is killed by a

nerve agent while waiting for a plane.  It was

speculated that his death was ordered by his

half-brother Kim Jong-un.

                 WEST    2       0     NORTH KOREA 

 

No one should be surprised, then, at this headline

of the Daily Mail, July 9, 2017, a month after 

Warmbier's death.

Kim Jong-un warns Donald Trump he is pushing

North Korea to the brink of nuclear war.

 

There is a lot more water under the bridge than these

few facts illuminate. Kim Jong-nam had a dozen vials

of the antidote for VX nerve agent in his bag at the

airport. Did someone warn him there would be a VX

nerve agent attempt on his life or was VX implicated

because North Korea was known to have old VX agents

degrading in a refrigerator in Pyongyang? 

 

His death is under investigation, but it is speculated

that it was carried out at the command of the North

Korean government. The US Department of State 

eventually determined it was an assassination conducted

by North Korea using VX gas.  Back to the Otto:

"Warmbier died on June 19, 2017, six days after his

return to the United States. U.S.officials blamed North

Korea for his death."

 

After Kim Jong-nam's murder we had two pieces of

information: Otto Warmbier foolishly, maybe

intentionally, stole an North Korean propaganda poster

out of a hotel in Pyongyang and was serving a 15 year

sentence.  In February, 2017 Kim Jong-un's half-brother

was murdered very strangely in a Malaysian airport. 

4 months later the comatose Warmbier is sent home

and dies 6 days later. The US blamed both deaths on

North Korea and Kim Jong-un. 

 

How did Warmbier hold out for a year and a half only

to expire after being returned to his family?  Maybe

Warmbier is still alive having been given the antidote

for whatever combo of drugs the CIA gave him to

induce his coma, the sleeping pill being the second.   

 

Why was Kim Jong-nam both rubbed on the face with

a handkerchief and immediately sprayed with an

aerosol mist?  Maybe Kim Jong-nam was a victim of

binary poisoning?  

John Trestrail, a forensic toxicologist and author of a book about homicidal poisonings, said it is theoretically possible to create a “binary poison” from two chemicals that would be harmless in separation, but deadly when combined (which would explain why neither woman was injured). However, he doesn’t think this is exceedingly likely. “I’ve studied well over 1,000 cases [of murder with poison] and I can’t think of any” that employed such an approach, he says.

Perhaps that's what the chaps at Porton Down have

been working on, lo these last 2 years.  English

Binary Poison. Maybe the Skripals were first test case

of a propaganda bonanza for the English against the

Hitlerian Putin.  It would be so like those slimy, limey

hypocrites, to invent a nerve agent, one chemical of

which could be administered in a pub and the

second chemical in a restaurant a short time later.

 

In that way MI5/6 would avoid accidentally

murdering Miss Marple or the Duchess of

Cornwall who happened to stop in for some

nose paint or a fork-full of pork kidney risotto.

 

Ah, the English.  As selfish and stupid a tribe

of criminal minds that ever came down the pike.

   

 

In reply to by Jim in MN

veritas semper… Looney Fri, 03/23/2018 - 16:15 Permalink

Macron,La Putain de France ,was elected with a whopping 16% of total electoral French votes.

In France ,there are constant big protests from the people ,never covered in US media(a big one two days ago,people beaten and arrested)

Then ,(they) did the Gladio 2.0 .with an ISIS attack in a supermarket.

I can tell you with certainty that the French people will never march against Russia again.

Neither the German people.

One good thing may come from all this f*ckery=total annihilation of NATO.

A bon entendeur,salut!

Fick dich ,baise toi  NATO/JUSA !

In reply to by Looney

perikleous Erek Fri, 03/23/2018 - 15:04 Permalink

"Highly Likely"  is the same as saying "Definatly Possible" its a copout term that means, we don't know sh*t but we will push this until it can be disproven and by then the repeated accusation becomes fact and all thats remembered.

If I was Russia I would await the world cup then refuse all UK passports from entering the country due to "concerns or repercussions/National security"

Then I would plan out my cutting off fuel sales to all Nato member states, the same way they refused to allow Russian aircraft carrier from refueling enroute to Syria.

I live in the EU and I still think they should do this!

They want to be US lapdog, ok, get your fuel from them.... Cutting off my nose to spite my face is almost acceptable in this case.

In reply to by Erek

TheGardener Ignatius Fri, 03/23/2018 - 14:58 Permalink

„Novo“ as being developed in the late seventies ! Kept a keen interest in military chemistry as a child and hence enrolled in chemical engineering one day … long story made short :

Me no expert but with most of the nasties developed and applied first half of the 20th century the after WWII focus was on treaty beating non traceable substances.

Hard to trace at least , centered around highly volatile compounds.

As such this allegeded attack can never be given any credibility.

The lab certifying the agent used happens to be one of the few in the world who

could have produced it , while the Russians have proof they can no longer produce

any of it. Go figure. False flag set up at it`s worst.

In reply to by Ignatius

FireBrander Ignatius Fri, 03/23/2018 - 14:59 Permalink

That other ex Russian spy that was strangled to death; yeah, now that I would believe "Russia did it"...old school, simple, hard core, fast and effective.

This latest "Chemical attack"...the theory is all over the place...they put the chemicals in his daughters scarf? Oh, no wait, the chemicals were put into the ventilation system of their car?

Novichok is suppose to be 10x more deadly than VX; they were exposed and survived? What?

>>somebody<< wanted a "Chemical Weapons Attack" on UK soil that sames >>somebody<< wanted to make sure it all pointed to Russia.

In reply to by Ignatius

TheGardener VWAndy Fri, 03/23/2018 - 16:09 Permalink

"nor" logic , Sir. Hate me my grammar Nazis , but I`m the the son of such parents.

And why do you think the left acknowledges there is an intellectual right ?

Cause they never ever strive to be pure and error free. It is our prerogative to never make mistakes in language and logic and as such not to mimic their dumb speech.

 

In reply to by VWAndy