March 15, 2018
The UK in 2018
Shit is getting serious. The latest is a joint statement by the UK, US, Germany and France that says that Russia launched a WWII-style nerve agent attack on the UK.
A joint statement by the UK, US, France and Germany says the poisoning of ex-double agent Sergei Skripal was a violation of Britain’s sovereignty by Russia and was the first offensive use of a chemical agent since World War II.
The incident, in which Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned in Salisbury on March 4, involved “a military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia,” said the statement issued on Thursday. The four countries said the incident constituted “the first offensive use of a nerve agent in Europe since the Second World War.”
They are basically going for the whole “evil gassing Russian Nazis” narrative. It’s so obvious.
The document branded the incident “an assault on UK sovereignty,” adding it came in violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and international law. Washington, Paris and Berlin back the UK’s claim that Moscow was responsible for what they called “the attack.”
This is the language that leads to serious escalations. World War I was started over the assassination of some nobody by some other nobody. I wonder if something similar might set off World War III.
A ray of light though. Macron seems to have doubts:
Though France was one of the signatories to the statement, a spokesman for President Emmanuel Macron’s suggested earlier on Thursday that British Prime Minister Theresa May was prematurely accusing Russia of complicity in the incident. “We don’t do fantasy politics. Once the elements are proven then the time will come for decisions to be made,” Benjamin Griveaux told a news conference in Paris.
It looks like dialogue is simply breaking down and not going anywhere.
Also on Thursday, Moscow said that it had urged the UK to hand over samples of the chemical to the OPCW and relevant Russian authorities, but to no avail. Commenting on the row, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova accused Britain of refusing to share any evidence in the case, while making “insane” accusations.
London was reluctant to share “any factual information on the [Skripal] case,” she said. The Russian embassy in London has sent four requests to the Foreign Office calling for “extensive dialogue,” but received “formal replies that made no sense.”
And the latest update seems to be Washington announcing more sanctions.
The US has announced sanctions against several Russian individuals and entities, according to a statement from the Treasury Department. The new measures are described as “cyber-related.”
Perhaps Trump put Barron on the case. Everyone knows he’s good with the cyber.
And Nikky Hailey has been grandstanding in the UN.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Wednesday the United States believes Russia is responsible for the attempted assassination of a former Russian double agent and his daughter in Britain — and the U.N. Security Council should hold the Kremlin “accountable.”
“The United States believes that Russia is responsible for the attack on two people in the United Kingdom using a military-grade nerve agent,” Haley said at a Security Council meeting in New York.
So yeah, they’re really beating the drums of war. We need to keep a close eye on this.