Novichokolate from Putin? Graffiti irony near Russian embassy tackles nerve attack

Spy standoff: Britain points at Putin in poisoning attack

Britain's top diplomat says Russia's Vladimir Putin ordered ex-spy's poisoning

"Our quarrel is with Putin's Kremlin, and with his decision - and we think it overwhelmingly likely that it was his decision - to direct the use of a nerve agent on the streets of the United Kingdom, on the streets of Europe for the first time since the Second World War", Johnson said.

Separately Friday, police in London launched a murder investigation into the death this week of a Russian associate of late tycoon and Putin critic Boris Berezovsky, but said nothing at this stage suggested a link to the attempted murders of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter on March 4.

Mr. Skripal, 66, and his daughter were found unconscious on a bench outside a shopping centre in the city on March 4th, and remain in a critical condition. The mounting tensions come as Russians prepare to hand President Vladimir Putin a new term in an election Sunday.

British Prime Minister Theresa May's office said that Australian leader Malcolm Turnbull joined her in condemnation of the attack.

The new US sanctions against Russian Federation announced on Thursday failed to grab many headlines in Moscow on Friday morning, CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer reports.

Politicians including US President Donald Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have all declared support for the British government amid a dispute with Russian Federation over the Salisbury attack.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Friday that Russian Federation would expand its "black list" of American citizens who can't visit or do business in Russian Federation.

The British government says the nerve agent Novichok was used in the attack - a substance developed exclusively by Russian Federation toward the end of the Cold War. Russian Federation denies any role in the poisoning and has vowed to retaliate against Britain for the expulsions.

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The global chemical weapons watchdog says the class of nerve agents used in the Skripal attack has never been declared by any of its member states.

Russia's envoy at the OPCW has claimed the substance used could have come from either US or British stockpiles.

Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, former commander of the British Army's chemical and biological weapons regiment, called that Russian claim "complete hogwash". The 67-year-old had been one of Russia's most powerful figures in the years after the collapse of the Soviet Union. A report in the Telegraph says it was put in the suitcase of Skripal's daughter before she left Russian Federation for Britain to see her father.

Chemical warfare experts from the nearby Porton Down facility have confirmed the pair were struck by the Russian-developed nerve agent.

He said he revealed its existence in the 1990s because he thought it was necessary to deprive Russian Federation of its deadly secret.

British Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson sparked particular outrage in Moscow with his blunt comment on Thursday that "Russia should go away, it should shut up". "I don't know, perhaps he lacks education", Lavrov told a news conference after talks on Syria's war with his Iranian and Turkish counterparts.

In London, opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn struck a starkly different tone to that of the British government by warning against rushing into a new Cold War before full evidence of Moscow's culpability was proven.

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