Sunday 21 July 2019

EU imposes sanctions on Russians accused of Salisbury Novichok attack

Former KGB spy Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia collapsed on a bench in Salisbury last March.

Personnel in hazmat suits securing a tent covering a bench in the Maltings shopping centre in Salisbury (Andrew Matthews/PA)
Personnel in hazmat suits securing a tent covering a bench in the Maltings shopping centre in Salisbury (Andrew Matthews/PA)

By Associated Press Reporter

The European Union has imposed sanctions on Russians blamed for the Novichok nerve agent attack in Salisbury as the bloc steps up its action against the use of chemical weapons.

EU foreign ministers slapped travel bans and asset freezes on nine people and on Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Centre.

Five of those targeted are linked to the Syrian centre’s activities.

The four Russians on the list are the two men accused of planting Novichok in Salisbury last March and their superiors, the head and deputy head of the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence unit.

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Alexander Petrov, left, and Ruslan Boshirov (Metropolitan Police/PA)

The two suspects – known by their aliases Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov – were caught on CCTV in Salisbury the day before the attack.

Former KGB spy Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia collapsed on a bench at The Maltings shopping centre on March 5 last year.

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Yulia Skripal (Dylan Martinez/PA)

Mr Skripal and his daughter survived the attack, which Prime Minister Theresa May said had “almost certainly” been approved by the Russian state.

The ministers said in a statement that the sanctions move “contributes to the EU’s efforts to counter the proliferation and use of chemical weapons, which poses a serious threat to international security”.

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