tv British Prime Minister May Delivers Statement on Nerve Agent Attack... CSPAN September 10, 2018 12:46am-1:01am EDT
it will make a difference to people's lives. they have given the backing and we will continue to give it are backing. >> at the conclusion, theresa may gave an update on the u.k. investigation into the nerve agent attack against a former russian spy and his daughter earlier this year in southern england. in her remarks, the prime minister had two suspects with ties to a russian intelligent agency. this is 15 minutes. >> statement, the prime minister. >> with permission, i would like to update the house on the investigation into the attempted murder of sergei skripal and yulia skripal.
this was a sickening and despicable act in which a devastatingly toxic nerve agent was used to attack our country. it left four people fighting for their lives and one innocent woman dead. i know the force of the full house will be with the family, following the tragic loss. in march, the government concluded that the russian state was culpable for the attempted murder. i also said that while we all share a sense of impatience to bring those responsible to justice, as a nation that believes in the rule of law, we would give police the space and time to carry out their investigation properly. since then, about 250 detectives have gone through more than 11,000 hours of cctv and taken more than 1400 statements. working around the clock, they have carried out painstaking and methodical work to ascertain
exactly which individuals were responsible and the method they used to carry out this attack. mister speaker, this forensic investigation has now produced sufficient evidence to bring charges against two russian nationals for the conspiracy to murder sergei skripal, the attempted murder of sergei and yulia skripal, the detective sergeant, the use and possession of novichok, and causing grievous bodily harm with intent. this morning, the police have set out how the two russian nationals traveled under the names of alexander petroff. names the police believe to be aliases. they arrived at the airport
friday the second of march having flown from moscow. they traveled by train to london victoria, then on to waterloo, before going to the city stay hotel in london. they stayed friday and saturday evening and traces of novichok were found in their hotel room. on saturday, they visited salisbury. arriving at approximately 2:25 p.m. and leaving less than two hours later at 4:10. the police are confident this was the reconnaissance of the area. on sunday the fourth of march, they made the same journey, traveling by underground to waterloo station at 8:05 am, before continuing by train to salisbury. the police have released cctv footage of the two men, which clearly places them in the immediate vicinity of the skripal house, moments before
the attack. they left salisbury and arrived in waterloo at 4:45 p.m. they boarded the underground at approximately 6:30 p.m., from where they return to moscow, departing at 10:30 p.m. mister speaker, this hard evidence has enabled the independent crown prosecution service to conclude they have a sufficient basis on which to bring charges against these two men for the attack in salisbury. the same two men are now also the prime suspect in the case of don sturgis and charlie, too. there is no other inquiry behind -- beyond this. they have formally linked the attack. it is now one investigation. there are good reasons for doing so. our own analysis, together with
yesterday's report has confirmed the exact same chemical nerve agent was used in both cases. there is no evidence to suggest that they may have been deliberately targeted, but rather were victims of the reckless disposal of this agent. the police have released further details of the small glass counterfeit perfume bottle and box, discovered in charlie rowley's house, and found to contain this nerve agent. the manner in which the bottle was modified leaves no doubt it was modified to smuggle the lesson -- weapon into the country, and the deliberate of the attack. mister speaker, the investigation into the poisoning is ongoing and police are appealing for further information. but were these two suspects within our jurisdiction, there would be a clear basis in law for their arrest for murder.
mr. speaker, we repeatedly asked russia to account for what happened in march and they replied with obfuscation and lies. this included attempting to pass the blame onto terrorists and our international partners. they even claimed that i myself invented novichok. their attempts to hide the truth by pushing out a deluge of disinformation simply reinforces their culpability. as we made clear in march, only russia have the technical means , operational experience and motive to carry out the attack. the nerve agents were developed by the soviet union in the 1980's. in the past decade, russia has produced and stockpiled small quantities of these agents, long after it signed the chemical weapons conventions. during the 2000's russia tested
means of delivering the nerve agent, including by application to door handles. we were right to stay in march that the russian state was responsible. now we have identified the individuals involved and we can go even further. mister speaker, just as the police investigation has enabled cps to bring charges against the two suspects, so to have security and intelligence agencies carried out their own investigation into the organization behind this attack. based on this work, i can say, based on a body of intelligence, the government has concluded that the two individuals named by police and cps are officers from the russian military intelligence service, also known as the gru. it is a highly disciplined organization with a well- established chain of command, so this was not a rogue operation. it was almost certainly also approved outside the gru at a
senior level in the russian state. mr. speaker, the house would appreciate that i can't go into details about the work of our security and intelligence agencies, but we will be briefing opposition leaders and others on council plans and giving further detail to the intelligence committee. let me turn to our response and further knowledge we have about those responsible. first, with respect to the two individuals, as the cps and police announced, we have obtained a european arrest warrant and will shortly issue an interval read notice. russia has repeatedly refused to allow its nationals to stand trial overseas, citing its bar on extradition in its constitution. as we found previously, any former extradition request would be futile. but should either of these individuals ever again travel outside russia, we will take every possible step to detain
them, to extradite them and to bring them to face justice here. mr. speaker, this chemical weapons attack on our soil was part of a wider pattern of russian behavior that seeks to undermine our security and our allies around the world. they have cemented conflict, repeatedly violated several airspace of european countries and a sustained campaign of cyber espionage and election interference. they were behind a violent attempted coup in montenegro. and a russian-made missile launched by territory held by russian separatists brought down mh 17. we will protect ourselves and respond to this threat. that is what we have done since the attack in march. we have introduced new power to detain people at the uk border to determine whether they are engaged in hostile state activity.
we introduced an amendment in response to the violation of human rights and we stepped up our activity against illicit finance entering our country. we also expelled 23 russian diplomats identified as undeclared russian intelligence officers, fundamentally degrading russian intelligence capability in the uk for years to come. and in collective solidarity and in recognition of the shared threat posed to our allies, 28 other countries as well as nato joined up and expelling over a total of 150 russian intelligence officers, the largest collective expulsion, ever. since then come the eu agreed to share intelligence on hostile state activities. nato has strengthened its collective deterrence, including a new cyber operations center. and the u.s. has allowed additional sanctions against
russia for the attack. our allies acted in good faith. the painstaking work of our intelligence agencies enforces they were right to do so. together, we will continue to show that those who attempt to undermine the international rules-based system cannot act with impunity. we will continue to press for all of the measures to be fully implemented, including the creation of a new eu chemical weapons regime. we will not stop there. we will also push for regimes against those responsible for cyber attacks and human rights violations and for new listings under the existing regime against russia. and we will work with our partners to empower the o cpw to -- opcpw to attribute chemical weapons attacks to states beyond syria. most significant what we learned
from today's announcement is the specific nature of the threat from the russian gru. we know the gru has played a key part in activity in the last several years and today we exposed their role in the attack on streets of salisbury. the actions are a threat to all of our allies and all of our citizens. on the basis of what we learned in the salisbury investigation and what we know about this organization more broadly, we must now step up our collective efforts specifically against the gru. we are increasing our understanding of what they are doing in our country, shining a light on their activities, exposing their methods and sharing them with our allies, just as we have done with salisbury. while the house will appreciate that i cannot go into details, together with our allies we will deploy the full range of tools across our national security apparatus to counter the threat posed by the gru.
i have said before and i will say again now, the uk has no quarrel with the russian people and we continue to hold out hope that we will one day, once again, enjoy a strong partnership with the government of this great nation. as a fellow permanent member of the united nations security council, we will continue to engage russia on topics of international peace and security. we will also use these channels of communication to make clear that can be no case in any for the kindrter of barbaric activity that we saw in salisbury in march. finally, mr. speaker, let me pay tribute to the fortitude of the people of salisbury, insperity and the surrounding areas that faced such disruption to their daily lives over the past six months. thank you forain your outstanding efforts of the emergency service and health
service in responding to these incidents. let me think all of those involved in the intelligence community for their tireless and painstaking work that has led to today's announcement. about the evidence presented to this house. today's announcement shows that we were right. we were right to act against the russian state, and we are right to step up efforts against the gr you. we will not tolerate such barbaric attacks against our country, and together with our allies, this government will continue to do whatever is necessary to keep our people safe, and i commend this house. announcer: at u.n. headquarters on thursday, russia's ambassador to the u.n. denied the country's involvement in a nerve agent attack during the security council meeting.