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Salisbury Novichok poisoning: UK to brief UN on Russian suspects

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The trail taken by the Salisbury poisoning suspects
UK officials will face their Russian counterparts later as they brief the UN Security Council on two men suspected of the Salisbury nerve agent attack. Prosecutors say there is evidence to charge the pair, who the PM said are thought to be officers from Russia's military intelligence service the GRU.Ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were poisoned with Novichok on 4 March.Moscow denies any involvement in the attack. Theresa May told the Commons on Wednesday the suspects entered the UK on Russian passports using the names Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.
She said the poisoning was "not a rogue operation" and was "almost certainly" approved at a senior level of the Russian state.
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Det Sgt Nick Bailey also fell ill after responding to the incident in Salisbury. Police are also linking the attack to a separate Novichok poisoning on 30 June, when Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley became unwell at a house in Amesbury, about eight miles from Salisbury.Ms Sturgess died in hospital on 8 July. Mr Rowley was discharged from hospital on 20 July.
Britain called Thursday's meeting of the UN Security Council following Theresa May's briefing.Russia is a permanent member of the Security Council and will be represented at the meeting alongside UK allies the US and France.BBC security correspondent Gordon Corera said the aim of the meeting is to maintain pressure on Russia. But our correspondent said it is also thought there will be less visible activity, including covert work by British intelligence to try to disrupt the activities of the GRU.Mrs May has also said Britain will push for the EU to agree new sanctions against Russia.
Police released CCTV showing the two men arriving at Gatwick Airport on 2 March
They were seen arriving at Salisbury station the following day for what officers said was reconnaissance
An image of the pair near Sergei Skripal's home on 4 March was taken "moments before the attack", detectives said
About an hour later they were seen in the centre of the city heading towards the train station
In the evening, CCTV showed the pair at Heathrow Airport, where they were to board a flight to Moscow
Responding to the naming of the suspects, Russia's London embassy called on the British government to "give up politicised public accusations".The embassy accused the UK authorities of being unwilling to engage with them, by providing additional information about the suspects such as their passport numbers.Russian President Vladimir Putin's foreign policy adviser Yuri Ushakov told reporters the names of the Russian suspects "do not mean anything to me".
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Theresa May gave a statement at Prime Minister's Questions
What is the GRU
The Metropolitan Police said the two men arrived at Gatwick Airport from Moscow on 2 March and stayed at the City Stay Hotel in Bow Road, east London. On 4 March they travelled to Salisbury - having also visited for reconnaissance the previous day - where Mr Skripal's front door was contaminated with Novichok.
Yulia and Sergei Skripal fell ill after Mr Skripal's front door was sprayed with Novichok
Officers believe a modified perfume bottle was used to spray the door. The pair flew from Heathrow to Moscow later that night. While traces of Novichok were found in the London hotel room, there is no risk to other guests who were staying at the hotel at the time, police said. They now want to hear from anyone who was a guest there from 4 March to 4 May.
The hotel in east London, where police say Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov stayed before they travelled to Salisbury, is 'open for business as usual'
Police said Ms Sturgess and Mr Rowley were later exposed to Novichok after handling a contaminated container, labelled as Nina Ricci Premier Jour perfume.Mr Rowley told police he found the box containing the small bottle and an applicator - all found to be counterfeit - in a charity bin. He tried to put the two parts together and got some of the contents on himself. His partner Ms Sturgess applied some of the contents to her wrists and became unwell. The bottle, with a modified nozzle, had contained a "significant amount" of Novichok, Scotland Yard said.
The counterfeit perfume bottle recovered from Mr Rowley's home and the box police say it came in.
Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley were poisoned by Novichok
The Crown Prosecution Service says Petrov and Boshirov should be charged with offences including conspiracy to murder; attempted murder and the use and possession of Novichok contrary to the Chemical Weapons Act.The offences only relate to the Salisbury attack. Police said officers are continuing to work with the Crown Prosecution Service on the Amesbury incident.
Amesbury
Russia-UK relations
Russian spy poisoning
Amesbury Novichok poisoning
Salisbury
Metropolitan Police Service
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